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Tanker fire razes 24 vehicles Continued from page 1 of Oyo State, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, and a former deputy speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Ayo Odugbesan, were held for between five and twelve hours. Odugbesan told Sunday Vanguard, last night, that he left Lagos around 5 a.m. heading to Abeokuta but didn’t reach his destination until 11 a.m. Yesterday’s tragedy at Danco village came less than 48 hours after another fuel-laden articulated truck lost control in Ibafo axis of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, setting several vehicles ablaze and killing about five persons. Eye witnesses linked yesterday ’s incident, which occurred around 2a.m., to the Thursday accident. According to them,
traffic had been diverted from the side of the expressway affected by the Thursday incident because the wreckage was obstructing the road when the articulated vehicle fell, spilling its contents and catching fire. The vehicles in the vicinity were said to have been set ablaze as the spilled contents flowed to them. The eye witnesses spoke of chaos as the passengers scrambled to escape the inferno. Unconfirmed reports said those who could not make it out of their vehicles were roasted. However, the Zonal Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in charge of Lagos and Ogun States, Mr Ademola Lawal, yesterday, said that only two persons sustained injuries in the inferno and that nobody died.
LAGOS-IBADAN EXPRESSWAY AUTO ACCIDENT IN PIX
According to Lawal, the injured persons were rushed to Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu where they were receiving treatment. Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, visited the accident scene, yesterday, and expressed regrets that another accident of such magnitude occurred in less than 48 hours. He blamed incessant accidents on the expressway on the bad state, noting that since it accounts for 70% of movement of goods across the nation, its reconstruction should be handled by a competent professional with proven integrity and expertise. The governor ordered that heavy cranes be brought in to evacuate vehicles obstructing traffic on the road.
World Bank, Lagos govt meet on gender policy
Nigerian Gender Policy is capable of highlighting the potentials of Nigerian women, create room for economic empowerment in both the agricultural and entrepreneurship sectors. It can also lead to human development through the reduction of female mortality rates, increasing educational attainment and providing improved voice, justice and political force. This was disclosed in Lagos, at the weekend, by Wuinmi AsubiaroDada , the author of the Nigerian Gender Policy Report, during a meeting by the World Bank and Lagos State Government on gender
Policy in Nigeria. The dialogue which had been ongoing for a week had series of gender policies and multi stakeholder sessions on gender equality and development earlier in Abuja, Enugu and Minna. Also speaking, World Bank director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, said the policy was needed for men and women. However, Senior Social Development Adviser, DFID, Katja Jobs said while Nigerian girls and women had experienced worse lives than men, investments in Nigerian girls and women were investment in the country ’s future and a
peaceful development. On his part, World Bank Director for Property Development, Prem. Marcelo Giugule, said the priority on gender in the African region was to create jobs for youths and in closing the proximity gap. . Present at the Lagos session was the state attorney-general, Mr. Adeola Ipaye.
Craft expo is catalyst to economic development – Tourism Minister BY CALEB AYANSINA
INISTER of To u r i s m , Culture and National Orientation,
Chief Edem Duke, says there are abundant potentials in the cultural industries for youth empowerment and wealth creation in which Nigeria and the rest of
Abducted 18-month-old rescued; suspected kidnapper shot dead BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
OLICE in Rivers State, yesterday, rescued an 18month-old child , identified as Delight, who was kidnapped in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital. The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ben Uguegbulam, who confirmed the development, said the suspected kidnapper was shot when he attempted to escape
after his victim was rescued. According to the police spokesman, cops on the trail of the kidnapper had no option than to pull the trigger. He said the suspected kidnapper had demanded a ransom of six hundred thousand naira for the release of the victim. The suspect was allegedly trailed to the bank where he was to cash the money. “Following discreet investigation, operatives in Aku, Port Harcourt trailed one Christian, male, who kidnapped one Master Delight, a year and six
months old child, from his parents house on 25 May, 2012 at about 9:30 hours,”Uguegbulam narrated. “He went to a bank branch where he went to cash the sum of six hundred thousand he demanded from the parents of the kidnapped child where he was arrested. On interrogation, he confessed to the crime and led operatives to his hideout at Rumuokwurushi, Port Harcourt to rescue victim. “However, soon after his victim was rescued,
the suspect jumped through the window and took to his heels. He was pursued and when it became too difficult to rearrest him, the police fired at him and that resulted to his death before he could be taken to hospital for medical treatment. One other member of the gang, Virginia, a female, was arrested and a Nokia GSM handset belonging to the mother of the victim and stolen items were recovered from their hideout. Meanwhile the rescued baby has been handed over to his jubilant parents. Investigation on”.
Africa have comparative advantage. Duke noted that African Arts and Crafts Expo (AFAC) could be a catalyst that will not only drive the economic diversification efforts of the present administration, but also fast track the growth of our national economy, when properly developed. The minister, who stated this at a press briefing on the 5th African Arts and Crafts Expo (AFAC) with the theme: Promoting Crafts Industry For Economic Transformation’ in Abuja, urged both local and foreign investors to avail themselves of the opportunities the craft industry presents through the Expo, which will be attended by fourteen countries across the world. “As through such initiative from the National Council for Arts and Culture much of our
untapped cultural resources of our country which are critical and fundamental elements of growth can be brought to the fore in our inward looking strategy for sustainable economic growth and rural transformation,”he said. “The 5 th edition of AFAC therefore is intended to build upon the successes of the previous ones towards coming up with an exhibition better showcase elements of good product design, finishing, packaging and presentation aimed at global market standard.” The Executive Secretary of National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC, Alh. Mwajim Maidugu, called on artisans to improve on their handworks up to the global standard, noting that, there is always a packaging problem with Nigeria artifacts.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012 — PAGE 5
President Goodluck Jonathan (left) with Catholic Bishops' during the visit of the executives of Catholic Bishops' Conference to the president yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Catholic Bishops to Jonathan: Engage Northern govs BY BEN AGANDE
ATHOLI C Bishops, yesterday, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to engage governors of the northern states on the issue of return of missionary schools to their original owners as well as the introduction of religious education at all levels of education. Addressing State House correspondents, the Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama, President, Catholic Bishops Conference and Bishop of Jos Catholic Diocese, said the introduction of religious instructions in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions as well as state and federal media houses will entrench the virtue of love and fear of God among Nigerians. ”We have come as representatives of Nigeria’s 69 Catholic Bishops from 50 Dioceses in response to the worrisome situation of insecurity in our great country, we held a pilgrimage of prayer for Nigeria by all Catholics at diocesan and national levels seeking God’s intervention in our country,” he s t a t e d . Kaigama also said the fate of minority Christians in some states of the north was discussed with the president.
”The predicament of Christian minorities and the way they are treated especially with the constant destruction of places of worship has given Nigeria a very bad international image. In most states, except for places of worship that were secured during the colonial period, lands have not been officially allocated to churches”, he said.. ”Today, in most of the 12 northern states, Christians are being denied the right of access to land for the building of places of worship. We had brought this anomaly to your kind attention in our last visit to you last year as a result. Christians are often treated as strangers and our faith presented as if it is an aberration. Burning of churches with no punishment has led to a climate of impunity. ”The constitutional provision for this must be enforced so that law abiding citizens are not attacked, killed, maimed and their property vandalized simply because they worship God differently. We wish to see more being done in prosecuting the culprits of these atrocities against innocent Nigerians.”. On the level of corruption in the country, the bishops called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the Orosanye panel on the restructuring of the size of the public sector particularly with
regard to political appointments and offices. ”The avoidable overhead cost is certainly injurious to our economy and poor Nigerians are not able to bear the brunt,” they noted
The newly consecrated Archbishop West and Bishop Diocese of Lagos, First African Church Mission Incorporated, Dr Paul Adekunle Onanuga, with a former Chief of General Staff and Baba Ijo, United African Methodist Evangelical Church, Lt. Gen Oladipo Diya (rtd), at the latter's thanksgiviong service on the Lagos High Court verdict in favour of his church.
30 killed in Nasarawa *ACF condemns mayhem, says it is barbaric BY EMEKA MAMAH AND JOSEPH ERUNKE
O fewer than 30 persons were feared dead in Assakyo, headquaters of Lafia East
Extra-judicial killings in the North: We didn’t do it, JTF tells Elders BY NDAHI MARAMA
HE Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State Operation Restore Order took on Northern Elders, yesterday, over the claim that the military outfit, raised to curb insurg ency, engaged in extra-judicial killings. The JTF denied the allegation as well as claims of genocide, arson, illegal arrest and detention made against it. It said in a statement by its spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa: “The attention of the JTF, Operation Restore Order, Maiduguri has been drawn to a publication in which Northern Elders accused the JTF of extra judicial killings, genocide, arson, illegal arrest and detention with particular reference to Maiduguri, Borno State.” Sagir said the intention of the response was not to trade words with the Elders or any person for that matter “but to put issues in correct perspectives for the sake of posterity.” The release stated that the JTF in Maiduguri “has never had a recorded or established case of illegal arrest, detention, extrajudicial killings, genocide or a r s o n . ” It added: “Whoever was arrested or detained was done within the law and mandate of the task force because they are suspected terrorists. The task force only where necessary kills in self defence or to save lives of innocent and law abiding citizens and properties. It is on record that the force has in several occasions unconditionally released several suspects that had no case to answer after diligent and painstaking investigation has been concluded.” It said on the allegation “that in Maiduguri alone, available records indicate the figures of
those that were killed by the JTF to be in thousands, most of whom were apprehended, arrested before they were extra-judicially executed: This figure is absolutely wrong, not true and misleading as the JTF within that period never killed or executed the number being peddled. Otherwise the war on terror would have ended by now as the group would have surrendered or dialogue with the Federal Government.” It went on: “Furthermore, killings of innocent and law abiding citizens by the Boko Haram terrorists, their collaborators, hoodlums, bandits, assassins are well known to all. We should also not forget that several security operatives have been killed or maimed by the terrorists, a lot of police stations and military installations destroyed. For the avoidance of doubt, the JTF is not an army of occupation and we call on our esteemed leaders to assist the JTF and Federal Government to bring the leadership of the terrorist group to the dialogue table as we have the conviction that they have the capacity to assist in ending the crisis.” The task force said it has never acted out of its powers especially regarding state of emergency. “It acted within the mandate and additional powers approved by appropriate authority. Some of the additional powers include; the mandate to conduct cordon and search of suspected premises/areas used by terrorists without warrant; arrest of suspected terrorists found committing or planning to commit an act of terror or criminal act and detention of suspected terrorists in military custody for more than 24 hours,” the security outfit added.
Development Area of Nasarawa State, following renewed violence between Alago and Berom communities. The crisis was said to have erupted between the two warring communities following a disagreement over some payment to a traditional head in the area. Sunday Vanguard gathered that the Eggon people objected to the payment to the Alago traditional head, alleging that the other community was taking undue advantage of them. Claims and counter claims over a piece of land by the two communities resulting in a similar incident had made the state governor, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Al-makura, to intervene four months back following which the two communities were barred from the land. Nasarawa State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Cornelius Ocholi, who confirmed the development in a telephone interview, yesterday, said his command had deployed one unit of Mobile Policemen to the area to restore peace just as he said normalcy was gradually returning to the area. Alarmed by the communal killings, the Arewa Consultative Forum, yesterday, described it as barbaric. ACF, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Anthony Sani, regretted that some people resort to violence as a way of settling disputes. The statement read, ‘’ACF condemns the communal violence which occurred between the people of Alago and those of Eggon ethnic extractions-which claimed many lives and resulted in destruction of properties. ’’ACF is not happy with the unfolding practices whereby violence is being seen and used by some people to settle disagreements which ought to be addressed by constructive engagements and due process of law. ’’These practices are barbaric and uncivilized and,therefore,must not be allowed to become national ethos.”
PAGE 6 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
Lagos doctors: ‘Reinstatement letters ready’ BY CHIOMA OBINNA & TONY NWANKWO
OLLOWING the recalled doctors demand for official letters reinstating them back to the Lagos State Health Service, the state government, yesterday, said the letters were ready for collection tomorrow (Monday). Disclosing this in a telephone chat with Sunday Vanguard, the Chief Medical Director of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Prof. David Oke, said the decision to give out the recall letters was decided upon after a long - hour meeting by government officials on Friday. He said in LASUTH alone, no less than 400 letters were ready for collection.He said the letters were for all cadres of medical doctors including,House Officers, Medical Officers, Resident Doctors, Consultants and Senior Consultants as well as Honourary Consultants. On the content of the letters, he said the letters was only to withdraw the sack letters and acknowledge that they had been withdrawn. Meanwhile, the
Managing Director, Forever Living Products, Nigeria/Benin Republic, Mr. Cornelius Tay, has advised medical doctors intent on making more money and contributing to the development of health care delivery in the country to join the distributorship network of his company. Speaking in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, where his company had feted distributors, Tay urged doctors to use the opportunity provided by their training to promote healthy living for the people. Speaking to newsmen, Tay called on striking doctors to make the interest of the people their topmost priority. “We are making a call to all the striking doctors not to allow more people to die, but to consider anything they can do to put the people first. We are also inviting them to come and join our network and have access to our wonderful products. Nigerians should know that, as a company, we are concerned with the prevalence of high mortality and early death rates in the country, and that is what we are doing
across the country with the help of very important personalities who are now in our company. These include wives of very important government officials, professionals, lecturers and ordinary Nigerians. Many of these people are engaged in a programme with us whereby we can help to reduce early deaths. Many of the products marketed by Forever can help people to enjoy better health and even reduce the incidents of illnesses and diseases. Anyone of them who chooses to come, we would be very happy to engage into our network and they would be far more successful”. Mr Tay urged Nigerians to use FLP products to overcome illnesses and diseases. “People don’t need to die early in this country. We have products that can relieve people of some very complex diseases and help enhance overall productivity in our nation. We have solutions for many of the world’s illnesses. We would want people to come and be part of what we are doing”, he advised.
From left: Mr Chima Chukwendu Okoro, contestant; Mr. Sunny Bangera , LG (GM) IT Sales West Africa, Ijeoma Nnorom, contestant, Mr Ashutosh Rahul , LG (GM ) Retail West Africa; Mr Chukwu Phillips Contesant, and Mr. Gberikon Lubem, during LG Electronic, Nigeria Organised LG Cinema 3D Competition at Ikeja, Lagos. Photo By Diran Oshe.
Delta doles out N269m to first class graduates BY FESTUS AHON
ELTA State Government has doled out over N269 million as scholarship to 47 university students who bagged first class to further their education to Ph.D level in any university in the world. Presenting cheques to the beneficiaries, who got N5 million each, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan said the first class scholarship scheme, which was introduced in 2010, has opened up new possibilities for their students to strive for the highest class of degree, adding that the number of beneficiaries rose from 36 in 2010 to 47 in 2011. Saying that the number of beneficiaries for this year has risen to 52, Uduaghan said the scheme has instilled academic discipline and galvanize academic competition among their students. He added: “It is a programme that I am
immensely proud of and passionate to be associated with.” The Governor said the scheme was another clear testimony of the state government’s readiness and preparedness to give education its rightful place in the scheme of things in the state, mindful of the role
Why we are honoring Mimiko —Institute of Town Planners
HE Nigerian Institute of Town Planners(NITP) has given reasons for its nomination of the Ondo State Gover nor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, for an honorary fellowship award. The body said its decision hinges mainly on the urban renewal efforts of the Ondo State government which has transformed the state capital Akure to a model city.
Minister lists gains of transformation agenda on agric
ONOURABLE Minister of S t a t e , Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Bukar Tijani, has told the visiting Year 2012 Officials of the ADBfunded Project Supervision and Monitoring Team that Nigeria’s transformation programme in the agricultural sector has positively impacted on the lives of all Nigerian communities. The team, comprising of the director, co ordinators and officials of the CommunityBased Agriculture and Rural Development Project (CBARDP), National Programme on
education plays in the development of any nation. In his welcome address, the state Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof Hope Eghagha, said the first set of awardees “have since started their masters and Ph.D programme in and outside the country.”
Food Security (NPSF) and that of Africa Development Bank ADB, was led by the Regional Head of the ADB in Tanzania, Mr. Evans Ntagwabira, and paid a one-day working visit to Tijani. The minister said value addition initiatives on nine crops, livestock, poultry, fishery, horti- and aquaculture farming were key performance indicators of the 11 value chain programme of the Jonathan administration. He said that the programme, which has multifaceted objectives to ensure food security in the nation, also lo oks at wealth and jobs creation for young graduates.
Mimiko will be decorated with the award at an investiture ceremony scheduled for the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Garki Abuja on June 8. Akure, the Ondo State capital, has in recent time assumed a city status as a result of its transformation occasioned by the ingenuity of the governor.. The town planners remarked that with just three and a half years in office, the Mimiko administration has been able to transform the state capital which has also become a tourist delight even as it said the template has already been set for other major towns in the state to assume the same status. “Roads in the metropolis are well asphalted while major roads in the city are being expanded into four lanes even as beautiful landscaping has emerged”, they said. “Apart from the many beautification going on at different parts of the state, a covered pedestrian bridge has been erected at the popular Oba Adesida road thus giving the popular area a befitting look coupled with the well defined vehicular marked routes”.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012 — PAGE 7
Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke (right) witht he Managing Director, BNL Engineering, Mr. Andre Guilou shortly after signing agreement with the company for the construction of Calabar International Convention Centre in Calabar.
Bishop Sunday Eze (right), who led a delegation from the Methodist Church on a courtesy visit to Governor Peter Obi (left) at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, recently.
BY OLA AJAYI, Ibadan
Mubarak jailed for life, suffers Y heart attack BY TONY NWANKWO with Agency Report
GYPT’S ex-Presi dent Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the killing of protesters during last year ’s revolution that forced him from power, a verdict that caps a stunning fall from grace for a man who ruled the country as his personal fiefdom for nearly three decades. The 84-year-old Mubarak, the first Arab leader to be tried in his own country, was ferried by helicopter away from the police academy where the trial was held to the Torah prison in Cairo where his sons and members of his regime have been either serving prison sentences or held pending trials over a variety of corruption charges. But the state television reported that the former Egyptian leader suffered a heart attack on the way to prison. Mubarak ruled with unchecked power for 29 years — an era stained by allegations of widespread corruption, police abuses and a strong grip on power by the ruling party. The harsh sentence against Mubarak, which can be appealed, appeared aimed at defusing tensions ahead of a divisive runoff presidential race that pits Mubarak’s last prime minister against the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate. Mubarak, wearing sunglasses and lying in a gurney, remained silent inside the defendants’ cage, surrounded by his once-powerful sons who appeared nervous and had dark circles under their eyes. His elder son Alaa whispered verses from the Quran. Lawyers representing families of the slain pro-
testers expressed dismay at the ruling after the judge described the case against Mubarak as weak, lacking material evidence or recordings. They feared that the acquittal of six Interior Ministry officials would be used in the appeal to overturn the ruling. Judge Ahmed Rifaat delivered a strongly worded statement before handing down the sentences. Mubarak, who wore sunglasses and a light brown jacket over his clothes, and his codefendants were in an iron cage. ‘Years of darkness’ Rifaat described Mubarak’s era as “30 years of darkness” and “a darkened nightmare” that ended only when Egyptians rose up to demand change. The judge, who was pesiding over his last court session before he retires, said Mubarak and elAdly did not act to stop the killings during 18day days of mass protests that were met by a deadly crackdown of security forces on unarmed demonstrators. More than 850 protesters were killed, most shot to death, in Cairo and other major cities. Mubarak and his two sons — Gamal and Alaa — were acquitted on corruption charges, but the sons still faced a separate trial on charges of insider trading. Ex-interior minister Habib el-Adly also was sentenced to life for the protester killings. Six other security officials were acquitted. As the news of the sentence initially came through to hundreds of protesters and relatives of victims outside the court compound, jubilation erupted with dozens of anti-Mubarak protest-
ers jumping up and down and waving Egyptian flags and their fists in the air. Scuffles then between Mubarak supporters and opponents broke out inside and outside the courtroom after the verdict was read, reflecting the deep polarization of the country after more than a year of turmoil. Helmeted riot police also clashed with protesters. Mubarak’s verdict came just days after presidential elections have been boiled down to a June 16-17 contest between Mubarak’s last prime minister, one-time protege Ahmed Shafiq, and Mubarak’s top foe, a Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi. Egypt’s state television reported yesterday that the former Egyptian President had suffered a heart attack while being taken to prison. Since Mubarak was ordered detained last April, he has been held in several different military hospitals but never in a prison hospital. “Hosni Mubarak suffered from a surprise health crisis when his aircraft landed in Tora prison,” the official MENA news agency reported. Nile News, a state-owned news channel, said Mubarak suffered a heart attack. Mubarak’s lawyers said that they would appeal against the sentence. But some criticised the court, on the outskirts of Cairo, for being too lenient. Mubarak’s two sons Gamal and Alaa both had the charges against them dropped. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate denounced the verdicts as a “farce” and demanded a retrial, in a statement on Twitter.
ORUBA Council of Elders (YCE) has described the protests that greeted the re-naming of the University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University as uncalled for, saying President Goodluck Jonathan’s action was “a reward of remembrance to our heroes past”. The Yoruba body said this just as it called on the Odua Peoples Congress, OPC, to be on red alert to prevent the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, from making incursion into Yoruba territory. These were contained in a communique issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting
UNILAG: Yoruba leaders flay protests over renaming to MKO Varsity held in Ibadan on Friday. The communique signed by the National Treasurer of the Council, Dr. Dejo Raimi, read, ”our civil defense mechanism such as OPC in the South-West should remain very alert in case of unimaginable spill over to any Yoruba nation”. ”We sympathize with the people that lost their lives and property in the Boko Haram episode and we advise our brothers in the North to tighten up their internal security so
as to ensure the menace does not do much damage to life and property”. The council also called on the Federal Government to review the security system in the country and make lives of people more secure so that investors who would not be doubtful about investing in the country. On the deplorable condition of Lagos-Ibadan expressway, YCE made a fresh call on the Federal Government to give urgent attention to the road.
Why we fight poverty, heart diseases – Stella Okoli, MD, Emzor
S one of its objec tives - to fight poverty - Chike Okoli Foundation,COF, a nongovernmental organisation, has trained about 1,600 young people in science and spirit of entrepreneurial studies even as it announced its annual, the 6th in the series, ‘Heart and Gala’. The theme is “Sustaining the momentum and the beat goes on”. COF, founded by Mrs Stella Okoli,managing direction of Emzor Pharmaceutical, after the death of her son, Chike, who died of coronary artery disease,five days after his 25th birthday,is aimed at fighting poverty and diseases by encouraging entrepreneurship and calling attention to cardio vascular diseases. In pursuit of reducing poverty in the society, the Foundation commissioned a multi-purpose ultra-modern edifice for the Chike Okoli Centre of Entrepreneurial Studies(COCES), located
in Nnamdi Azikiwe University,Awka. According to Okoli,” The Foundation has reached out to over five million people across Nigeria informing them of the growing dangers of cardiovascular diseases and how to make lifestyle interventions. We are convinced however that larger audiences have also been reached through our heart series booklets, fli-
ers and other information materials distributed in various hospitals and the nation,and our weekly column in some print media”. The COF is also, in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Education, plans to organise this month the first edition of Grassroots Cardiovascular Health Campaign in ten selected senior secondary schools in the state.
Ondo 2012: ‘There won’t be imposition on ACN’
governorship aspir ant of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Ondo State, Mr Segun Abraham, yesterday, denied that the leader of the party, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, is out to impose his business partner as the candidate in the October 20 governorship election in the state. Abraham said in Akure that such idea talk should be consigned to the trash
bin and that issues on development should be in the front burner. He added that Tinubu is a progressive politician that would not do such a thing, noting that the party leaders are out to see that the best candidate emerges in the primaries. He described Tinubu as “”an icon after Awolowo that has the genuine interest of the Yoruba at heart”.
PAGE 8—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
Seplat Oil explains commitment to the environment *As the world celebrates Environment Day
EPLAT Petroleum Development Company Limited has unveiled plans to celebrate this year’s World Environmental Day in a unique way on Tuesday, June 5. SEPLAT stated that it is devoting time to commemorating and drawing attention to the environment and issues concerning it, as an environmentally friendly corporate entity. Some of the activities planned by the company include environment-centric educational activities, support for environment NGO’s and environmental quiz competition for its employees. This year ’s World Environment Day is significant and complements the United Nations’ vision of
designating 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. The theme of this year ’s celebration is – Green Economy: Does it include you? According to the company ’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs and New Business Development, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, preserving the environment is one of SEPLAT’s top priorities and core values. “We are mindful of our responsibility to help preserve the environment; we ensure that our operations are in complete harmony with the environment.. Nwachukwu said Seplat is organising an essay competition entitled, “Challenges to achieving green economy in Nigeria, in its host communities”.
The competition open to secondary school students within the oil firm’s host communities in Delta and Edo States is being conducted with the support of the Chief Inspectors of Education in the areas. The award ceremony holding on Tuesday will be moderated by Prof Anthony Agharaugwe Akiri (Head of Department, Educational Administration, Faculty of Education, Delta State University, Abraka.
Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank Plc, Dr Alex Alex Otti (left) exchanging views with chairman, Diamond Bank Plc, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe at the 21st Annual General Meeting of Diamond Bank in Lagos.
Comment on 2015: Youth leader defends Magege
youth leader in A Ughelli North, Delta State, Mr. Chris
Eriyamremu, yesterday, noted that Chief Olori Magege, Chairman, Delta State Waste Management Board, may have been misunderstood by some persons on the Delta State
governorship slot come 2015, saying that Magege was only protecting the interest of Urhobo nation. Eriyamremu, who made the remark, said, “it was time for Urhob politicians and the people of Delta Central to have a rethink and be sincere to the
reality come 2015, as being canvassed by Magege before it is too late”. He pointed out that Chief Magege may have seen the handwriting on the wall and foresees that even though Delta Central has the right to also produce next governor come 2015,
relying on its population, but how does that translate to defeating both Delta South and North voting population put together. He further noted that Magege was right that if Urhobo can not be king, they should be kingmaker, instead of being irrelevant.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 9
THIS SEGMENT PRESENTS INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS, IN A MANNER NEVER BEFORE EXPLORED, ON CRIME AND NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS. THIS IS DEPARTMENT 'C'
BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
Insecurity in Nigeria's territorial waters Nigeria Navy is not sleeping on its oars
INSECURITY IN NIGERIA’S TERRITORIAL WATERS:
Counting the losses The way out, by expert
ports of between 700, 000 and 900, 000 metric tons of fish annually to partially meet the shortfall of 1. 8million metric tons. Again, the navy is the statutory security organ of government vested with the powers to secure and checkmate the threats militating
bout 90 per cent of Nigeria’s revenue comes from the maritime environment or coastal landscape that spans the Niger Delta, parts of the South East and South West. Oil wells, gas flow platforms and pipelines dot the creeks of the Niger Delta. Nigeria’s coastline of about 850 kilometers of exclusive economic zone, and well over 300, 000 square kilometers, over 3, 000 kilometers of navigable inland waterways, six major seaports, 11 oil terminals, over 170 private jetties, 4 inland container depots and 2 inland freight stations, is policed by the navy. In the 2010/2011 annual report of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), released in June/July 2011, Nigeria was ranked as the second biggest crude oil exporter among the cartel’s members by total volume export of about 6. 64million barrels per day in 2010 and earnings of over $70. 58billion during the period. This rise in ranking was partly due to the success in containing the agitations of the people of the Niger Delta who demanded recognition of their economic rights through the Federal Government Amnesty Programme following which peace was restored to the oil rich region after years of hostilities. Apart from the oil, Nigeria is estimated to have about 265 trillion cubic feet of gas deposit, making her the 10th highest in the world. If we leave out the oil and gas potentials, the maritime environment is also rich in aquatic resources like fish, shrimps and other sea animals that have been acknowledged in the continent and abroad hence sea hunters as far as Asia and the Mediterranean come up to the nation’s territorial waters to operate. For instance, in 2010, records show that the Nigerian fishing industry, less artisan fishing, was estimated at N44billion in revenue. In spite of this large amount of aquatic deposits in our territorial waters, however, it has emerged that the country has difficulty meeting required volume of sea food demands. This has been due to insecurity in the territorial waters and it has resulted, for instance, in the withdrawal of over 200 fishing trawlers, and 20, 000 workers back to shore. The implication is that the nation has to fall back on im-
that the current security challenges, occasioned by bombing attacks and killings, have made the nation insecure. They even went to the ridiculous level of naming hotels as targets of bombers. It is against the background of the enormity of the securi-
In spite of this large amount of aquatic deposits in our territorial waters, however, it has emerged that the country has difficulty meeting required volume of sea food demands
against these aquatic economic ventures. Of great importance these days, however, is the issue of terrorism, which has, in a way, held the nation to a standstill considering the frequency and precision with which terrorist groups and gun men strike at national assets and security operatives; and seem to paint a picture of a nation unsafe for foreign investments. To make matters worse, foreign missions in the country have regrettably signed on to the idea of sending messages to their countries warning their citizens against visiting Nigeria on the grounds
ty challenges in the maritime environment that a maritime law expert, Mrs. Mfom Ekong Usoro, posited, at a lecture to mark Nigeria’s Democracy Day, that “unlike other sectors of government expenditure where budgeting could be done by analyzing trends based on statistics, making projections and predictions in the area of defence; government cannot predict wars and such security threats”. “Military or naval strategists will therefore have to make budgetary decisions based on uncertainties, but which must be adequate for a strong and well equipped navy, because
a small naval defence budget, in order to service other sectors, will compromise Nigeria’s continued prosperity”, she added. Explaining how it is done in other climes, Usoro said, “Given the uncertainties, governments worldwide, working with economists, allocate resources to the navy using the growth model, i. e., as a percentage to their gross domestic product and make substantial increase in defence spending in response to current and emerging threats in that country.”
iting examples of some problems encountered when navy platforms are inadequate for policing, she said, “Report from NNPC shows an average annual income of N11trillion was generated from Nigeria ’s maritime environment from 2005 to 2011. Also, about N1. 02trillion was lost annually due to insecurity. During the year 2006, Nigeria lost $4. 4billion in oil revenue due to unlawful activities. Another statement credited to the Petroleum Minister said government is losing $7billion annually to crude oil theft in Nigeria ”. While observing that the navy needs just a little fraction of these amounts lost to insecurity to enhance its operations which will provide safety and security for our maritime interests and ensure
unhindered commerce, the maritime expert said, “estimated value of investment in hydrocarbon production in Nigeria is $150billion while average annual cost of crude oil theft is $3.65billion; and estimated annual loss of revenue due to illegal fishing is $1billion”. On the other hand, she said the estimated costs of acquiring new ships for the Nigeria Navy are as follows, “General Purpose Frigate-$350million, Long Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessel-$120million, Landing Platform$350million, Medium Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessel$60million, Submarine$300million and Landing Ship Tank-$90million. All these platforms have to be fitted with weapons, ammunitions, communication gadgets and other sensors.” Emphasizing that “huge savings have been made for the nation as a consequence of her (Navy’s) defence and policing duties”, Usoro posited. “The vastness of the maritime environment, inadequate funding and capacity building of the Nigeria Navy, lack of coordinated strategy to integrate maritime defence through inclusion of the navy directly with national economic planning, given its crucial roles in that regard, poses challenges”. Suggesting the way out, she said, “One of the ways of supporting the economics of maritime defence is through improved funding for the navy. Others include establishment of a national security fund and national security surcharge tax fund. In addition, the use of lobby groups to project the need for a wellfunded, willing and ready navy that would guarantee the maritime defence of Nigeria for economic prosperity”. “Another veritable tool is the creation of awareness that will agitate the minds of the people towards championing the demands for a navy of the 21st century that will indeed be a sea power ”, she said.
he Nigeria Navy is not sleeping hence the force, in line with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government and the new environment provided under democracy to express itself in accordance with its mandate, recently took a bold step in the local construction of sea going vessels. Towards this end, a 31meter seaward defence boat, constructed locally by the navy, was commissioning on Friday by President Goodluck Jonathan.
PAGE 10 — SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 3, 2012
Agunloye...Nigeria has more problems than it is solving.
Dr Olu Agunloye has intimidating credentials. He was a lecturer at the Department of Physics, University of Ibadan, the chief executive of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), member of the Constitution Review Committee, chairman of the ICT Thematic Area of the National Technical Committee for the Vision 20:2020, Minister of Power and Steel as well as Minister of State for Defence (Navy). Beyond these, he was a close associate of the late Chief Bola Ige, the Minister of Justice who was assassinated in 2001. Now, Agunloye is aspiring to be governor of Ondo State via the October 20 poll. In this interview, he speaks on Bola Ige’s murder and issues surrounding his gubernatorial aspiration.
hat was the most chal lenging episode in your life? The most challenging thing in my life is the hostile environment in which we are. We are in a society that security is almost at zero level. Also, the economy is not so encouraging. What we used N50,000 to do before, if you have N500,000 now, you cannot do it. And people like me are in such society and we work round the clock to make sure we get results from such hostile environment. Having spent over three decades in the political terrain, what was the most trying period of your life? What is that thing that has left indelible memory in you that you can hadly forget? The most shocking thing that has ever happened to me that would take time before forgetting it was the shocking death of the late Attorney Gen-
My mind tells me Bola Ige’s killers will still be caught—Olu Agunloye He reveals: What the late minister told me three days before he was murdered
’Why I want to be Ondo governor’
eral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Uncle Bola Ige. We were together on December 19 or 20, 2001 after which we parted. I went to Akoko. I was very shocked when I heard of his assassination by some wicked people. The way the gruesome murder was committed and the
BY OLA AJAYI, Ibadan
After ten years of his unresolved murder, what has kept me is the inspiration that I have been able to draw from his family members. I have got a lot of inspiration from Mr. Muyiwa Ige, Gbenro and Funso. They have inspired me the way they are waiting for justice. Then, I work with Uncle
Nigerian government appears to be in the rhythm of coming round to say what they don’t think is correct and to say what they would not do
shoddy way the country handled it almost made me lose hope in the entire judicial system in this country. It was handled in such a way that we had little knowledge of how he died. It was very disappointing. How have you been coping without him since his death affected you so much?
Ige’s associates like Ayo Afolabi, Layi, a commissioner in Osun State, Odia Ofeim, Kunle Famoriyo and many others. Do you think justice can still take its course after many years of his death? Yes, I still believe that sooner or later, justice will be done. At the end of the day, all those who had hands in his killing
would be brought to book. His spirit would also continue to haunt them until all of them are exposed. Scrapping of the Federal Road Safety Commission Nigeria has more problems than it is solving. This is extremely unfortunate. Nigeria has the tendency to always want to throw away the baby with the bath water. It also has the tendency of having very weak memory and also jettisoning history and reports. Incidentally, it is not only shameful for Nigeria, it is also very ridiculous, laughable that Nigerian government appears to be in the rhythm of coming round to say what they don’t think is correct and to say what they would not do. In 1993, we were on this same bridge, FRSC to be scrapped, FRSC to be merged with the parent body and, after rigorous analysis and conviction, FRSC to remain. In 2003, ten years after, we went through the same process. In 1993, it involved the National Constituent Assembly and, in 2003, the Presidency and the Ministry of Justice.
n fact, they tried to do it and undid it again. Then, ten years after, we are in the same business. It is not only the step which is wrong, it is also a step which is inappropriate, a step which exposes government as not looking into their records or not learning from the previous ones. It is also a step which shows government as being very insensitive to even the good development within their own system. Incidentally, I was in the engine room of the FRSC about two months ago and I saw the level of development which has gone up there and the level at which other countries of the world were actually emulating and copying all the things that FRSC was doing. It is not new, it happened when I was there and I remember that New York driver’s license was modeled after Nigeria’s driver ’s license and I’m also aware that a couple of African countries modeled theirs too after Nigeria’s. And now, it is even at a higher level where the World Road Safety Organisation is modeling a couple of things after the FRSC. This is not the time that one report would say merge it with the parent body. It is a symptom that Nigeria is in a real difficulty. Many people say Governor Olusegun Mimiko is doing a good job in Ondo State and you want to contest the governorship election with him in 2013. Why do you think we should change a winning team? In Ondo State, take a ride through the market and you find out that the Mimiko that they know is not the same Mimiko that other people know on AIT, Channels and so on. Some of the indices you
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SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 3, 2012— PAGE 11
‘Why I want to be governor of Ondo State’ Ondo State. I remember that the last conversation I had with Uncle Bola Ige before he died on December 23, 2001. I saw him last on the 20th because we went to Jos together and we had a long conversation.
can use to measure that is the number of awards that Mimiko has got. Mimiko has got more than 54 awards at a stupendous cost to governmentover 300million. So, why do you get the best award as the best gynecologist of the year, the best governor of the year, the best swagger governor of the year when we do not see any impact in the state.
sk for what Mimiko has done in the state. He can be described as somebody who has done wealth cancellation, wealth annulment instead of wealth creation. He found a purse of N420billion and found ways and means to spend it not creating any industry, farm settlement, not employing the youth. No stable industry that is there. So, instead of wealth creation, we are faced with wealth cancellation. There is this another thing he has done. This ‘eye, eye thing’ (eye pleasing). It can only be “Oju Aye project,” to take a road that ex-Governor Olusegun Agagu had tarred and put lamp post and pulled all the divider, asphalt only to be redoing it. It is Oju Aye project to take a roundabout where one is not required, pulling it down four times. So, it means you pay for its destruction three times and also pay four times reconstructing and four times designing it. When you finish it, all that you now do is put a very beautiful water fountain and, because your state or your capital has no water, you use tanker to bring water to the place. And because you state capital does not have electricity, you then go and put generator to run the place. All these are not landmark projects but ways and means to spend the money. The same with mega school, mega hos-
pital, mega this mega that. You now mentioned the word, winning. I don’t know what you mean by winning. Mimiko himself will not say so because, if he believed he was winning, he would not go about tearing and pulling down billboards and posters of other aspirants and candidates. He would not send his men to be destroying the campaign vehicles of other candidates. At a rally in Igbokoda
Continued from page 10
hen, we parted ways and I went to Akoko. One of the things he told me was that I should not leave AD. He explained that all those issues would be resolved. And we noticed that some of those issues were not even resolved even though he made a trip to Akure and spent several hours trying to resolve them. Also General Alani Akinrinade(rtd) tried to resolve those issues but he could not. Crossing to the PDP was as a result of power struggle in Ondo State and Afenifere at that time. What I tried not to do people have spoken to me about it, they
Power is epileptic and nonexistent not for any other reason but corruption. We know what to do. Uncle Bola Ige and Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu were right on what to do
two weeks ago, on April 27 to be precise, three of the buses taken there were badly damaged. I like this Saka Lawal’s statement that the brainbox of Mimiko has left the party for the Action Congress of Nigeria. So it’s like the hard drive or external drive of Labour Party has left. When one looks at your political antecedents, it is surprising that, at different times, you were in the Unity Party of Nigeria, Alliance for Democracy and it was a common belief then that UPN, AD had the same ideology. Why did you suddenly defect to the PDP and now you want to contest on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria? It is good that you understood that ACN is a party that you can say is 60 years old having metamorphosed from Action Group to UPN, to UPGA, SDP, AD, AC and now to ACN. It was a struggle for
use it to colour my image to a certain extent and I have tried to resist giving details because it may start to open new wounds. People must know where Ige himself stood at that time, people must know that when Ige wrote his famous letter to the President about what he planned to do, if the contents of that letter could have allowed people like us to struggle on the platform of the PDP. Let that be aside. I’m not ready to open that at this stage because it may open healed wounds. But moving from one party to another, in Nigeria, in this 21 st century, does not mean so much. Like I told you, I go from one place to another changing people from Labour Party and PDP to ACN. Moving from one place to the other is the only way ACN could win in this state and we have been doing that. I am waiting to celebrate my 200th
decamping session in winning people from other parties to ACN. The political landscape in Nigeria is so large. People move from place to place. You can also liken that to Mimiko. He has moved more than I have. If movement leads you to a good level, they clap for you and if it does not, they blame you for moving. Ondo State governorship election is fast approaching. How prepared is the ACN? ACN is poised to win the election and we are preparing hard. But, in preparation, you can never say you have finished. We still have a lot to do. I can talk about my own contribution to the preparedness of ACN. I started working on this project on May 8, 2011. And, by last Wednesday, which is exactly one year, we commemorated the first anniversary of the struggle and contribution to building a stronger ACN.
he struggle for the ACN in the last one year has now been documented in two booklets. We also strengthened the structure under the structure, Omoluabi, and making sure that those who come to the party are properly registered. As at now, we have about 52 offices that are running and also have Omoluabi offices in about 203 wards and 18 local governments. Now, we have a database of 157,000 people who have filled the Omoluabi platform forms. Then since the beginning of the year, we have embarked on outreach meetings with the elders and elite in the state who are not necessarily resident in Ondo State. If you look at the recent harvest of people who moved from the LP and PDP, you would know that the steam is gathering. What do you think gives you an edge over all these aspirants? One, by nature, I am moderate and I have made a lot of gains being moderate and I have also lost a couple of things being moderate. I would modestly say what gives me an edge over others are very straight forward and simple. I have spoken to some governors and some elders and I have penned down that there are four ma-
jor things at stake about who becomes the candidate. One is the issue of pedigree. If you look at that, I would have a very good mark. Second is how competent is the person, I have my CV, I am eminently qualified. Third is what experience does he have in managing people and resources or even political experience. As the head of the FRSC many years ago, people could not believe that I was managing about 105 formations. Then the FRSC was rated very high even outside Nigeria. In the political terrain, I’m not new in this business. I have always been in the background for long. In 1986, when some people who are contesting now were not known in the political scene, were it not for me, Papa Adekunle Ajasin would not have had a second term. I set up the first electronic digital collation centre which I did first in Ondo State for Papa Obafemi Awolowo election. I set up the ones in Oyo and Ondo which I ran simultaneously. As for election, in 1998, I put up myself to run for governorship election in Ondo State. Then, I had the backing of some people from Ijebu-Igbo and other notable Yoruba leaders. But, I was prevailed upon by some people to step down for Adefarati. Even, at that, I went into the primaries. It was in that primaries that I was asked to step down for Adefarati and wait for my turn and waiting for my turn now has become 14 years. It shows I’m not new in this business. And, lastly, the candidate must be able to bridge the gap between the old people and young ones. The candidate must also be on ground and I want to tell you that Olu Agunloye is on the ground in and outside the state more than any other aspirant. If the issue of loyalty is to be considered, don’t ask anybody if he would be loyal. He would tell you, even swear that he would be loyal. But, try to measure that by checking his past. I have held two or three positions in the past. I headed the FRSC and it is only people who would say whether I was loyal or not and I was at a time the Minister of Power and Steel.
PAGE 12—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
BY DOLAPO MAJEKODUNMI ON May 23, 2003, the 500year history of the Obaship of Lagos was redefined with the selection of a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Rilwanu Akiolu, as the Oba of Lagos. Being the first of its kind, his selection elicited diverse reactions, but nine years down the line, Akiolu has remained a force to reckon with in the polity. As the 21st Oba of Lagos, the law graduate of University of Lagos has been instrumental to the transformation the state has undergone. In this encounter, the traditional ruler regrets that Lagos has remained marginalised by the Federal Government, adding that the state is in dire need of federal assistance. Contrary to the view that former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu was instrumental to the jailing of the PDP chieftain, Chief Olabode George, Akiolu revealed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo sent him (George) to jail. He also gives some insight into what he suggested to President Goodluck Jonathan, during a visit to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, as the way out of the country’s challenges in the power sector. Excerpts:
S one of the inspirational role models in Nigeria, what message do you have for the people? I give thanks to Allah ten times for the journey so far. It is God who appoints a leader. He who the builders rejected has become the corner stone. Anything anyone wants to do, I advise that you build your faith in God and He will surely favour you. RILWANU means ‘Favoured by God’; this has been my guiding principle and I can say that has seen me through to the position of Oba. With impostors who pretend to be
OBA AKIOLU @ NINE ON THE THRONE:
What I told President Jonathan *'Obasanjo, not Tinubu, sent Bode George to jail’ friends, I’ve refused to be distracted. I attribute my being successful since my appointment as the Oba to the favour of God. Challenges and achievements? From youth, i’ve always had it at the back of my mind to make people happy, to assist people as much as I can and tell the truth at all times, even though I don’t have reservoir of knowledge. As a leader, people are bound to hover around you, but you need to be prayerful to overcome any form of mischief people might be planning against you. According to a Yoruba adage, when the king’s horse is declared missing, there are three categories of search parties, one has genuine intention to help in locating the missing horse, the second has a negative mind and not to locate the whereabouts, while the last is with the intention of locating the lost horse and then take it into hiding out of ever ybody ’s vicinity. This means that when the king’s horse gets missing, there are there categories of people that will bring suggestions as to how to locate the horse. The first suggestion, which is genuine, will proffer solution as to how it could be found; the second, which is genuine, will bring suggestions that will lead to no solution while the third is
for and against..
n the ninth anniversary of your coronation, what special appeal do you want to make to the state government as regards the development of your kingdom? My first appeal goes to Lagosians to have patience, be close to God, be selfdisciplined, know their rights and insist on them,and be sincere; that is the only way they can become overcomers in life. And the government, my principal appeal goes to the Federal Government because Lagos, to me, has been short changed. The Federal Government should come to the assistance of the state. As a retired police officer, I always say what I
believe, I don’t fear anybody but I respect people. According to a Yoruba adage, ‘To oba se Oba losan, wa se omo loru’, which means being a monarch does not exempt you from giving honour to whom it is due. A lot of Nigerians are good at criticisms. I wish to appeal to the Federal Government to put politics aside and do more in the area of assistance to Lagos as the Lagos State government caters for other parts of the country alongside itself. On Boko Haram. No religion, be it Islam, Christianity or the traditional religion, encourages the killing of innocent people. If there are problems which need to be sorted out, we should sit down and do so. That’s why there’s this saying, that Obas don’t practice politics. We should all sit down and talk on how this country can move forward; it is necessar y, whether you call it sovereign national conference or national dialogue, we should all sit down and talk for the corporate existence of this country. I don’t believe we should separate or divide as a country, we should come together. Violence does not solve problems, it is ungodly.
he power sector is key to industrial development, yet we seem not to be getting it right. I had the opportunity some few weeks ago that the number one citizen of this country gave me audience and I gave him my suggestions on how I think we can solve this power problem and hope government must be working to resolve all the problems on power, roads, housing, etc. We should support the government to succeed. I am a lawyer and conscious of what I say, the greatest headache and one of those that created problems for us is former President Olusegun Obasanjo; he believes he has reservoir of knowledge, he knows everything. In 2000, I was in the delegation that visited him as part of our training at NIPSS (National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies) and I made it clear to him that it is only a bastard Yoruba man who should think he (Obasanjo) should not succeed, but that the problem with the man is that he believes he has reservoir of
knowledge. That is why recently he said there is nothing he asks God that He will not give him. As a lawyer, I will not say that he is not correct even when he wanted to impose himself as a life president and believed nobody should question the third term bid. That is why I sent a message to my friend Bode George that ‘this is the only opportunity to redeem your image’ because they went about telling people in Lagos that Bola Tinubu and others sent him (Bode George) to prison; it was Obasanjo who sent him there. They know what they did together and when they were doing whatever they did, I advised Bode George to be careful, that he was on his way to the lions den (Obasanjo’s house). Let me go back to the power problem. I told the president that power is not something you can do in a day, that it may take us four, five or six years to get steady and regular power supply; if we are going to be on generator for the five or six years, let us divide the whole country into areas; if it is possible to have 10,000 KVA generators, let us go and lease them for the six years while we put the power sector in good shape. I have been to Obasanjo’s place more then three times on the power issue, he refused to listen to me. Now, where are we today? Power is not something you can just do, he believes he knows everything. My own prayer now is that Allah should give those in authority the knowledge and show them the way to go about it, because, without power, there will be no meaningful development. There is no cheap power, Nigerians must be prepared to pay for it
e don’t seem to get things right even in the democratic setting. It is because we don’t believe in God, we are impatient and we don’t love each other. Do you have a special wish Yes. First i wish for rapid development in Nigeria and Lagos in particular. I wish for gainful employment for the people, good roads, and free movement. I don’t believe we should be divided in Nigeria, rather we should all come together as one. When I came in as Oba, I had three things on my agenda, I thank God almost all will come to reality by the time I clock ten years on the throne in 2013 to the glory of Allah. When I became the Oba of Lagos in 2003, I met about N400,000 in the palace account, but now we can boast of N200 million. I advise that the state governor should continue with the good work he is doing. He is a man of principle, if you get to understand him, you could be best of friends.. He does not believe in injustice. That does not mean he doesn’t have his own faults since he is a human being. He (Fashola) has good intentions, and I know that by the time he completes his tenure, he will be a toast of everybody.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 13
Olashore, ex-First Bank MD, dies at 77 *Aregbesola mourns
former m a n a g i n g director of First Bank Nigeria, and the paramount ruler of Iloko Ijesha, Oba Oladele Olashore, is dead. Circumstances of the monarch’s death were unclear at press time. He was aged 77. In a tribute, yesterday, the governor of the State
of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, described the passage as a colossal loss. Olashore, according to the gover nor, ser ved Nigeria as a dedicated professional to the best of his ability before retiring to offer community service to his people in the State of Osun.
Aregbesola, in a statement signed by his Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, recalled Olashore’s brilliant performance within the Nigerian financial sector; a performance that saw him to the pinnacle of his career as the Managing Director of the First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
Police stop APGA rally *Party vows to sanction dissidents BY VINCENT UJUMADU
O L I C E , y e s t e r d a y, stopped a rally organized by a faction of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, led by Chief Sylvester Nwobu Alor, and chased away those already gathered at the popular Aroma junction in Awka for the event.
Alor, who is a special adviser to Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, is leading the for the ca mpaign restructuring of the party at all levels with the sole purpose of changing the leadership. As early as 7.00 am, a large number of policemen were seen at the junction and those who tried to assemble in the area were directed to leave. Yesterday’s botched rally was the second attempt by the group within a forthnight as a similar
attempt could not hold because many of the party members backed out. Meanwhile, the crisis in the party took another dimension with an aide of Governor Rochas Okorocha, Chief Austin Ndigwe, saying, in Awka, that the party would soon set up a disciplinary committee to try the former minister of health, Dr Tim Menakaya, who is the deputy chairman of Board of Trustees of the party, for anti- party activities.
BY CHIOMA OBINNA
HE national body of the Nigerian M e d i c a l Association, NMA, yesterday, directed all doctors under the umbrella body of the association to immediately resume work including those in Lagos State. Addressing journalists after a five-hour emergency delegates, EDM, the National President of the NMA,
NMA directs Lagos doctors to resume work ... gives govt 2 weeks to convoke meeting Dr Osahan Enabulele, said: “The EDM resolved that there should be an unconditional recall by issuance of individual letters of recall to all the 788 illegally sacked doctors in Lagos State, without any punitive measures. “The EDM resolved
that a meeting be convoked within two weeks from the EDM between NMA Lagos State Branch and the Lagos State government to sort out issues of withdrawal of sack letters and all agreements earlier freely entered into by the Lagos State government”.
Ekiti, teachers disagree on test BY GBENGA ARIYIBI
HE face -off between Ekiti S t a t e Government and teachers in the state over the conduct of competence and assessment test slated for tomorrow has taken a twist, as the umbrella body of the unions, Nigeria Union of Teachers and Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) have directed their members to stay away from the designated centres earmarked for the exams.
The state government and the leadership of the two unions have been embroiled in a controversy over the conduct of what is otherwise tagged as the Teachers Development Needs Assessment( TDNA) test, a development that prompted the state government to shift the test thrice this year. A last-minute attempt to persuade the teachers to participate in the exam failed when the state government lobbied some prominent members of the state traditional rulers to get the teachers to submit themselves for the exercise as leaders of the two unions NUT and ASUSS
led by Mr. Sola Adigun failed to turn in for the meeting. According to Chief Wale Oyeniyi, the Principal Assistant SecretaryGeneral of the NUT, the decision to stay away from designation centres was said to have been taken at a special congress of the union held on Wednesday. The communique issued at the end of the congress read in part, “the teachers have declared an industrial dispute and there is no going back on our decision against the Teachers Development Needs Assessment (TDNA) of the state g o v e r n m e n t . ”
PAGE 14—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
2015: Why I will not go away zSpeaks on those who will not make it zKeeps mum on Jonathan’s ambition zNigerian politicians are very selfish, it declares 'How to lay me to rest; for now' In this rare, very rare, futuristic conversation, Sunday Vanguard takes on the now omnipresent 2015. Its notoriety is becoming a source of distraction to President Goodluck Jonathan just as the sphere of space it occupies in political discourse has kept many working on a variety of permutations and scenarios. 2015 explains to Sunday Vanguard why it has refused to go away and why it would remain in the consciousness of politicians for as “long as they behave in their typically Nigerian manner. Mind you, I was far away and very distant, incubating actually, before some people hurriedly gave me life. Now that I have been given life, they want to abort and kill me but that would be very difficult because time is not going to stand still. With every passing day and with every action of the political leaders, they all gravitate towards me. Therefore, let me stay with you for as long as possible; the inconveniences or distractions not withstanding.” Excerpts:
BY JIDE AJANI
hy have you become so no torious? Notorious! That is not a fair description. It is your system, the typical Nigerian system that has thrown me up in this manner. If not that you Nigerians are a very
funny lot, why should anybody be talking about me now? In a normal society, why should anybody start talking about me when there is 2013 that is just around the corner; or 2014 that comes before me? It is because there is something fundamentally wrong with this society. Even in the United States where presidential election is due in November, the race for the primaries of the Republican Party some five to six months ago kick started the
process. My God, I am still very far away yet people are already disturbing me. You were supposed to be in the incubator and suddenly you have forced yourself on a nation of about 160million people? (Cuts in) Please mind the language. I did not force myself on about 160million people. Do you want to know the truth about how it started? Let me start from President
Goodluck Jonathan himself. He should have learnt some lessons about how funny some people can be. When just a few weeks after inauguration he went to town to start talking about the need to move Nigeria away from the distractions of elections every four years, he forgot that the only job some Nigerians know and have is electioneering. That is where they eat from; that is where they make their money; and if elections were to stop holding every four years, those people would die. So, even on that basis alone, proposing a single term of four five years or seven years was a subconscious voyage in self-immolation. How do you mean? What I mean is that even if President Jonathan meant well, he forgot history and those who were already writing history before it happens. He had just unwritten a rule, whereby he got elected overwhelmingly by Nigerians in spite of a supposed zoning arrangement in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The dust regarding that was yet to settle when he came out to propose a single term tenure which, one way or the other, could see him benefiting and he expected people not to jump to conclusions? What manner of proposal was that? Why was he in a hurry? Apart from the problem of zoning which was created and the way the boys in the House of Representatives embarrassed leaders of the PDP by electing their speaker from the North west Zone, the same zone as the Vice President, creating a preponderant political power base in that single zone, the next thing Mr. President did was to come out with that proposal.
Continues on page 15
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012 , PAGE 15
On Jonathan, mum is the word Continued from page 14 How could it have bode well with the people; especially those who were still smarting from the loss of political power? People simply jumped to the conclusion that this was a game about me, about how I would turn out.
Vice President Namadi Sambo
President Goodluck Jonathan
ut since then, the overheating of the polity has not ceased? That is part of the bad politics going on. If you remember, some people actually made it clear that they would make things difficult for Jonathan. They also said he stole their term and mandate. All they should have waited for was to start counting the years until they get to me. But even as it is now, some people are seeing through the whole atmosphere of insecurity that it is all about me. Some people would rather I arrive today. But even as I have been caused to sit and watch and play at the centre of political affairs now, there is nothing they can do because they would still have to wait for me and that is some two years from now before they can even begin to attempt to do anything meaningful with me. For now, having been invited, I will simply create maximum confusion, distraction and unnecessarilly overheat the polity because I have a lot of time on my hands. I am idle, so the devil has turned me into its workshop. I am idle so I can create maximum confusion and distraction. They asked for me and I have honoured their invitation. Who are the they? Can you be specific? President Jonathan unknowingly invited me when he proposed his single term issue. Some Northern politicians wished that I had arrived yesterday because of their eagerness to reclaim power. Some opposition politicians worked subconsciously to bring me to life. Are you still asking about the they? But some leaders have come out to say your ghost should be exorcised? Wait! I’m not dead so I don’t even operate as a ghost. Some have said you should be buried? Those who are saying I should be buried are ignorant. Where will you burry me? Do they know who would outlast the other? How do you mean? You are asking! Before 1999, some people had thought, they would be in the race, they died. Before 2003, some people started preparing for the race, they did not get to see the year. Before 2007, some people began scheming, all that came to naught – there was even a presidential candidate who died just before the elections. Before 2011, there were those who were in the thick of it, but through illness and death, they never participated. So, how many of those who are causing problem now, or those who are clamouring for a particular candidate or those who are threatening fire and brimstone would be alive to meet me. Mind you, I am not going anywhere. I am waiting for all those who can meet me. It is all about the folly of men. Nobody is immortal. I wait for all of them. And I commiseratwe (in advance) with families of those who would not make it. Because it is given unto man to live and die.
Look it is common sense. The way your President is conducting the affairs of state and the way the opposition elements too are going about it, I laugh. I laugh because I see selfishness in the air. As for me, I would come and go
hat about the disintegration that they say you have in store for Nigeria? Far from that! You people have an option to either make me the year of turning point or tipping point. It is either you people sit down and think of the possible areas of friction and address them; identify possible causes of crises (be they religious, ethnic, political, social or economic) and tackle them; or you people simply continue along the path of folly and intransigence and see what happens. Please expatiate on that? Look it is common sense. The way your President is going and the way the opposition elements too are going about it, I laugh. I laugh because I see selfishness in the air. As for me, I would come and go. I can be very good or very bad. It is not in my hands, but what they all make of me. Let me tell you, as for those who appear to have created insecurity because of what they want of me, they should understand that if Jonathan is made to appear to have been forced out of office by losing at the polls, the boys in the South South could start off another round of militancy. So where would that leave Nigeria? The flipside is that should Jonathan and the PDP be seen to have rigged to retain power, bad as the attempt in itself would be, there would be a
possible upping of insurgency from the North. The mistake people are making, including Jonathan and those opposed to him, is that they never learn.
an you imagine if June 12 presi dential election had not been annulled? Moshood Abiola would have done his possible eight years and that would have been it and Nigeria would have been spared the years of Sani Abacha with the attendant slow down in the economic and political fortunes of the country. Obasanjo spent eight years and it still appears as if it was yesterday. Can you imagine the glory had he not tried that nonsense called Third Term? When my time comes, Jonathan’s four years would have lapsed. If he gets another four years, my uncle, 2019, would arrive and then what. At the end of the day won't he vacate office? Or will the people around him come up with a Doctrine of Necessity for tenure extension? You people are blind and deaf – the politicians I mean. Just imagine even if Jonathan spends eight years, what does he think will happen afterwards? Obasanjo spent eight years and imposed somebody, did that make his fortunes any better? This is not fiction, it is real, documented. What do politicians want? Yes, what do politicians want? We should ask them. Can you imagine the foolishness? I was incubating as you said but they forced me into existence. Now look at what they are trying to make of me. But it is because they do not know me, yet they think they do. They do not know what I have in store for them, yet they think they are omniscience. I look at all of them and I laugh. How would you advise President Jonathan? No comment. What do you think of the PDP? Is that a political party? Look at the so-called convention they held, it was about me. I am not here, yet they are doing things in my name. What about CPC and ACN?Are you sure they know what they are doing? Please I don’t want to be uncharitable. Just look at CPC and the confusion within it.
Speaker Aminu Tambuwal Okay what about Buhari and Tinubu? What about them? The alliance talks they are trying to engage? Do you think it would work? Since they made a fool of themselves the other time, why should Nigerians take them as people who are serious? Okay, let me even talk about Jonathan. All he needs to do is sit down and reflect on what God Almighty has done for him in the past. He should not now think he can do things his way or by himself. What Jonathan should concentrate on is to govern well and leave the rest to God. God's Grace can not abandon him having taken him this far. He should reflect on what God ghas done in his life. That does not in any way mean that people should keep haranguing the man too. They should let him work. The insecurity people are talking about, after after me or my uncle, 2019,won't the people of the North who want power back preside over a united Nigeria? Or are they planning to preside over a balkanised entity? What do you think of INEC and your time? Eh! Politicians are already scheming of how to deal with INEC. What they did last year and which was thought to be wonderful may be exposed by the politicians when they unleash their crookedness on the polity. Boko Haram and You? What about Boko Haram and I? What do you see happening? Trouble no good. Me I dey kampe. Ask them! But don’t you think…? Please let me be for now! I would like to take a nap. You can wait from now till I decide on what to do, whether to remain for now or fly about or fly away and return at the appropriate time or….
THE CONVERSATION ENDS ABRUPTLY AS A RESULT OF DEAFENING EXPLOSIONS NEARBY, RUMOURS OF A POSSIBLE INVASION BY ARMED ROBBERS ON THE NEXT STREET; AND A SUDDEN POWER OUTAGE ALLOWS 2015 TO SNEAK OUT OF YOUR SIGHT. WE'LL TRACK HIM AND CONTINUE LATER
C M Y K
PAGE 16—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
tion, in addition to enhanced incentives that can attract competent teaching staff. It must be remarked that, given the low priority a typical Nigerian gives to matters concerning culture, it is important to reiterate how crucial cultural development is in the quest for national transformation.
s indicated earlier, culture is a powerful barometer for measuring self-identity. Furthermore, development in all
N addition to all the above, the Execu tive Secretary has consolidated operations of NICO’s affiliate offices in the six geo-political zones of the country. Ayakoroma is also working tirelessly to strengthen collaboration between NICO and other corporate organisations, state governments, and international bodies. One can confidently assert that if NICO, as the numero uno cultural parastatal of government, continues to march forward the way it is doing right now it would become a formidable catalyst of unprecedented cultural renaissance in Nigeria in a decade or so. In that regard, I wish to celebrate staff of NICO, past and present, who contributed to its growth. Without their indefatigable efforts, sometimes under trying circumstances, the organisation would not have made any tangible impact on the cultural landscape of Nigeria. However, like every human institution there are inadequacies in NICO, which implies that there is room for improvement especially in terms of upgrading facilities at the Training School, better students’ accommoda-
economy in recent years and corruption have drastically reduced government’s investment in the culture industry. That said,the federal and state governments are dutybound to support NICO in order to realise the lofty objectives formulatedin the Cultural Policy of 1988. The centrality of language in all this cannot be overemphasised. From our previous discussion, our indigenous languages might be extinct in the next few decades unless creative
Our indigenous languages might be extinct in the next few decades unless creative measures are taken to prevent that from happening
its ramifications – material, intellectual, moral, spiritual – is mediated through culture. This means that man is not just the creator of culture; he is also the creation of culture.Now, in addition to the deleterious effects of colonisation on indigenous cultures of Nigeria, the parlous state of the country ’s
measures are taken to prevent that from happening. Based on the indigenous language programme mentioned earlier, it is not an exaggeration to say thatNICO is at the forefront in the effort to promote mothertongues across the country. However, I recommend that the Institute should take its endeav-
In all things
HEN it rains, it really pours. Lately it seems people are getting it from all sides when it comes to trouble. There is no life that is trouble free but the worldwide recession certainly paints a gloomy picture of the new reality. I am all for hope and I certainly exercise my faith in speaking things that aren't as though they are but there are times I feel like a balloon that is loosing air and getting smaller daily. It doesn't help that most people feel the same and I wonder how long we can wait for the much needed respite that will bring the economic boom back. Comparing one's self with the Jones's these days means exchanging lamentations and comparing notes on who owes more or who needs more. If i had to choose a colour to describe the world in its present state
I would have to go with grey. Its not black or white, its dull and listless; no colour or zest.
ne of the basic trainings one acquires as a girl child in africa is the art of haggling. Haggling means negotiating prices down by all means necessary. It could be considered bullying as it involves quite a bit of coercion and even disparaging goods on sale just to get the seller to drop the price. At times it is begging and persuading the seller to sell for even less than cost just to get a bargain. It is a tradition that is as old as time in this part of the world and both buyers and sellers take it seriously. Being a descendant of 3 generations of successful traders I am a seasoned haggler, I have actually taken the skill to an art form and I am known for it.
Lately however, I have had to restrain myself from haggling when I sense the desperation that people are feeling from the hardship that is actually taken a harder toll on those at the bottom rung of the ladder. Times are hard for the rich but it is desperate for the already poor. The voice of my conscience seems to get loudest when I am in the market and it is obvious that getting a good deal for myself by haggling is taking food from the mouths of those who are already hungry. "The Rich also cry" was a popular telenovela in the 90s and it revolved around a rich mexican family that had its share of heartbreak and was suffering just like the poor in their society. Their problems were mostly emotional and social but the new world order has added the financial plague to everyone's woes. There is a
tures; it should also continuously shine critical spotlight on the negative aspects which have survived up till now with a view to eradicating them. Harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, trial-by-ordeal, dehumanising widowhood rites, expensive funeral ceremonies, unfair inheritance customs that discriminate against female children and so on are anachronistic; NICO should be vigorously campaigning for an end to these practices. The question of peaceful coexistence among adherents of different religions is high in the agenda of NICO.
he major reason for this situation, according to Prof. Nnabuenyi Ugonna, is that it is natural to think more creatively in one’s mother-tongue than in a second language. Most ignorant Nigerians think that the pure and applied sciences, including mathematics, cannot be taught using indigenous languages as the media of instruction. But researches carried out by Prof. B. A. Fafunwa and others on the pedagogic potentials of selected local languages have de-
solid argument that the rich were mostly affected as they had the most lose but I say that is relative. Ted Turner losing 13billion is painful, he was very depressed understandably, but he gets by on another 2billion. Compare his loss to that of an old man robbed of his 200000 Naira gratuity(less than $2000), who gives up hope and is dead within days and
40-50% of my pre recession income and I wont lie and say I like it. Like most people I am also finding that my expenditures are doubling; it seems it is more expensive to live in a recession than in the time of boom. Its a catch 22 that we are being called to give when we don't have a lot; that we have to stretch and struggle to survive so how do we help oth-
There are no small miracles and drawing breath absolutely free of charge is one of such things; the dead can not. A wise woman who had suffered the loss of a loved one once told me she survived by finding something to thank God for everyday; she believes that attitude took her out of despair to peace. Being thankful meant she was able to give of herself and her substance even she was almost running on empty. Being grateful and giving thanks is the catalyst to compassion.
NICO & challenge of cultural renaissance & peaceful co-existence in Nigeria (2)
bunked that notion. If the sciences and engineering can be taught in German, Japaneseand Chinese, for instance, then there is no insurmountable reason why the same subjects cannot be taught in local languages. What is needed most is a leadership that has the will to make the necessary investment towards actualising the ideal of education in our indigenous languages. The tremendous technological and psychological benefits that will be derived from successful implementation of such a programme are incalculable. Bringing to public awareness the home-grown technological achievements of our technologists and scientists through the media of local languages will blow to smithereens the fallacy that Black peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa did not contribute anything, technology-wise, to the development of human civilisation. In this connection, NICO can play a leading role in projecting the scientific and technological achievements of autochthonous Nigerian peoples to a wider audience. From another perspective NICO can, through its enlightenment programmes, discourage the tendency to over-romanticise our cultural heritage. Certainly, like cultures in other parts of the world, indigenous Nigerian cultures contain the good, the bad, and the horrible. Hence NICO should not focus exclusively on the positive aspects of our local cul-
our in this regard to the next level by promoting the idea of using indigenous languages as the media of instruction in our educational institutions. Specifically, the Institute can device a program to catalyse the following idea: each of the six geo-political zones in the country should establish schools where, apart from the study of English, the language of instruction in all subjects should be the dominant language spoken in that zone. Obviously, there are formidable difficulties in actualising our suggestion – financial, logistic and lack of political will on the part of government. But consider this: virtually all technologically advanced countries in the world developed their technologies in their respective languages – Germany in German, Britain and America in English, France in French, Russia in Russian, and Japan in Japanese.
There are no small miracles and drawing breath absolutely free of charge is one of such things; the dead can not
you begin to understand that the rich may be crying but the poor cant even cry; the poor are dying in body and spirit. It is not my sole intention to depress everyone but I feel a strong urge in my spirit to wake compassion in as many people as possible. I will be the first to complain about the times of economic hardship we have been experiencing for the past 2-3 years. People have lost fortunes big and small. The last assessment confirmed that I have only been earning
ers? Both very valid stances but I have always believed that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is the best way to find peace and even joy in any situation.
t is not impossible that some readers may be muttering "thankful for what" and who could blame them? We are all feeling the pinch. The good book says in all things we should give thanks and surely we must realise that means we give thanks in times of harvest and famine.
e believe that the Institute should organise, especially at the primary and secondary school levels, programmes that stress religious tolerance and social harmony as indispensable ingredients in the arduous enterprise of nation-building. Sporadic eruption of religious violence in certain parts of the countrymeans that NICO still has a lot of work to do to make Nigerians live-and-let-live. All said and done, there is no doubt that with wise leadership, NICO will continuously grow from strength to strength in years to come. Thus, political leaders, corporate organisations, and indeed the generality of Nigerians, should give NICO all the necessary support it needs to make Nigeria the cultural Mecca of Black people across the world. CONCLUDED.
grateful heart will see that even though she couldn't buy the choicest cut of meat at the market, any meat, any food is a blessing to be thankful for. In fact, the good health to even have an appetite for food is a blessing. I don't know how long this cloud will hang over us and I join my faith with others and pray that it is soon. In the interim, we need to look beyond our own desperation and frustrations and reach out to others; giving of ourselves and our depleted substances. Except for grace it could be worse; whatever the situation; for that I give thanks..
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2011, PAGE17
“I am not a crook”. Richard Nixon, President of the United States, 1969-1974.
RESIDENT Nixon succeeded Lyndon Johnson, who voluntarily rejected the second term bid once he found his country sharply divided, and, he, the President was the centre of all the raging and violent controversies. Nixon was later consumed by a crime called the Watergate Affair. So although he was overwhelmingly re-elected in 1972 by a wide margin, he resigned in ignominy. Nixon was later to say about the Watergate that it “ was worse than a crime; it was a blunder”, according to the Observer on December 3, 1978 – approximately four years after losing the presidency. The recent allegations of a N155 billion fraud involving various individuals contrary to the Senate, cannot be conducted in camera because it is, according to reports, already a subject of open litigation in the US. Any attempt at cover-up, by the PDP-dominated national assembly, can only back-fire and result in unprecedented civil protest which will make the January occupation exercises look like child’s play. This is the stuff of which revolutions are made and the sooner Jonathan got more honest and wiser advisers on this one the better. The “Yes-men” will not do for this one. As usual, I have deliberately brought in the Nixon analogy, just as Johnson was used to conduct what Plutarch, c46-120 AD, the greatest Greek Historian, called Parallel History. The uproar against Johnson’s policies first started as a whimper of “disgruntled elements” and was promptly disregarded. Johnson’s Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, 19111978, left the world with the cocky observation, “the right to speak does not include the
Any attempt at coverup, by the PDPdominated national assembly, can only back-fire and result in unprecedented civil protest
right to be taken seriously”. In the end he and Johnson were consumed by those who exercised their right to speak. When the first stories about Watergate first surfaced, Nixon and his advisers, instead of owning up to the simple crime of breaking and entry, decided to cover up. Nixon took their advice and became the second President forced to resign in American history. The story of N155 billion oil scam, allegedly involving the President, will eventually combine elements of Johnson and Nixon – if Jonathan mishandles this one. Whereas, I had canvassed that we should manage the President, protect him from harm and carefully escort him back to Otuoke in 2015, any false move from him could result in consequences worse than escorting him back to Otuoke. The gathering storm of events, some totally out of the President’s control and others being foisted on him by his Ministers (Finance, Power, Petroleum, Agriculture, to name the leading candidates) will definitely ignite a thunderstorm of protest and civil unrest, which will be escalated as long as Jonathan cannot like Nixon say to Nigerians: “I am not a crook and I have no hand in the N155 billion scam”. Anything short of that will amount to inviting certain disaster for himself. In that connection, let me advise GEJ that he should reject any National Assembly offer to conduct hearings about this Oil-Gate affair in camera. It will only heighten tension and lead to unintended but calamitous results. The reasons are not hard to discover. The National Assembly, which former President Obasanjo allegedly labeled a gang of “rogues and armed robbers”, are among the most disreputable groups of individuals in Nigeria today; they barely rank above the Nigeria
Police in the minds of Nigerians for infamy. It would amount to asking Shina Rambo, the infamous armed robber of the 1990s and Co, to sit in camera on a case of grand larceny. Their judgments are suspect, even when they sit in public. There is probably no single member of the National Assembly since 1999 (and this is just a personal opinion) who can step forward and state categorically that: “I can account for every kobo of my earnings since being in the NASS”. None, not even the members of opposition parties – how many individuals can in today’s world; not many. To expect justice from that bunch sitting in camera amounts to the triumph of hope over experience. It will not happen; some are involved in the crude theft as well. When Nixon declared “I am not a crook”, he did not hide behind the majority Republicans in the Congress of the United States; he challenged everybody to prove that he was a crook. Nigerians need such an affirmative statement from their President. And, we don’t want to listen to any “echo”, that is Reuben Abati or the Minister for Justice, who spoke for him recently. We want to listen to GEJ’s voice when that declaration is made because his honour is at stake. He must do to protect his integrity. The reason is obvious, the message and the messenger are often inseparable. Our dear Reuben, whose words we read with great delight, and stored in our hearts with care, until last year, has succumbed to the Aso Rock disease. He speaks now to ears closed to his utterances. So he cannot be of help; not on this matter and perhaps not on any other one for that matter. The Attorney General might even be worse. His explanation regarding government’s involvement in what he called a private affair left too many questions unanswered. So, that leaves the President to take the public witness stand in his own defence. Nobody, so far has said anything worthy of our respect. Unfortunately, the President of Nigeria starts out with a huge handicap in this regard. Two episodes should serve to make this point clear. First, the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, said some of governors they looked into their activities have since “made restitutions” – Jonathan was alleged to be one of them. So, why should we trust him now? Second, the newly elected President of France, declared his assets within a week of his election and before swearing in. That was not only what the law demanded; it was the kind of ethical leadership expected of trustworthy leaders. To the best of my knowledge, President Jonathan has failed to declare his assets – one full year after election, let’s say publicly. Where is the moral leadership? Still let him declare with his own mouth that “I am not involved and he will receive the benefit of doubt from me.
Oil Thieves: The biggest and the worst
“200,000 barrels of crude stolen everyday from Nigeria” – Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. allam Ribadu is a professional policeman and also an amateur lawyer – not an economist trained in Unijankara. Otherwise, he would have interpreted that statement in the language the ordinary person can understand. In plain language, 200,000 barrels of crude oil – even at the most conservative estimates – comes to N1.3 trillion per annum or one quarter of our annual budget. Take it from me, probably, no single barrel is stolen without a conspiracy of BIG MEN with Abuja connections. No Dele, Haruna, Emeka or Oghene can march to the creeks and start stealing crude without being caught within twenty four hours and sacrifices to fish.
Time for young people to be high on Govt Agenda DENRELE ANIMASAUN FROM LONDON
“Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members” —Pearl S. Buck N the UK, youth crime today is growing steadily into uncontrolla ble gang warfare, so often seen on TV or in movies. Children, as young as 11, are joining gangs (crews) and becoming part of the society that nurtures violence and street crime. The phenomenon was not taken seriously until the prominent cases of the likes of Damilola Taylor, Stephen Lawrence and many others. Prior to that, it was assumed that youth on youth crimes was a known person crime, which is not. These young people who attack others for just venturing into their area or wearing a different colour or disrespecting them. You cannot remonstrate with these children and sadly their choices hereafter is predictable; the police, the morgue , the jails and even the psychiatric wards. The call to curb such criminality was to slap an ASBO (anti social
Jonathan’s oilgate: Greasing the exit gate
In these trying times when the gap between that have- a- lot and those who have not has widened, it is the duty of the government to ensure that those that are less privileged are given a lifeline
Behaviour Order) on perpetual trouble makers it worked for awhile, until amongst the group it was seen as a badge of honour. The relevance of this is that of the area boys, and it’s profiltration into everyday vocabulary. Area boys. The name is not cute nor is it harmless. In the week that Nigeria marked Children’s day, it is about time that young people should be high on the agenda. What it is very clear, is that young people are falling through the net. These “boys and girls” have inadequate education, no health and social care, lack of direction in terms of their stake in the future. This is dismal. None of the grandstanding by successive administrations has made a positive shift since the passage of the Child Right Bill (CRB) that was passed into law by the National Assembly, in May 2003. Area boys (some are hardly children!) are unemployed, delinquents, school dropouts, drug users, petty thieves whose one raison d’être is to cause chaos, fear and instability in the lives of others. It is common knowledge that they are also used as muscle for local politicians. Living this low life is now an alternative lifestyle that the government cannot be ignored, if they do so it will at their peril. No one knows for sure how many area boys are there but, conservative counts put them as much as 100,000. In other societies, young offenders are seen as the product of the government’s negligence towards the parents or the children themselves; someone
needs to take responsibility for these children rather than wishing them away and ignoring or temporarily disposing of them within the penal institutions. When Fashola became the governor, his speech showed the seriousness to tackle the issue: “It is common knowledge that violent crime in the country generally and Lagos State in particular was on the increase in recent times. We are presently confronted with a citizenry living in fear as a result of the wanton and rabid activities of armed robbers, and miscreants who have taken delight in striking at random throughout Lagos State particularly in the metropolis,” He continued that: “Our administration has a mandate from the people of Lagos State to provide security and ensure that hoodlums and armed robbers do not terrorise them. Perhaps, instead of focussing on the results and punishments of youth crime; the government should be concentrating on causes and solutions to youth crime. Common statements from these erring Area boys are: ‘We have nothing; others have plenty so we will take what we want.’ Or “ we don’t want to live like this but we don’t have jobs or money and so on.
y the looks of things, nothing has changed. Actually it has got worse, much more worse. In these trying times when the gap between that have- a- lot and those who have not has widened, it is the duty of the government to ensure that those that are less privileged are given a lifeline to live a useful life and have some semblance of normality. The government should set out four steps for tackling youth crime- engaging with young people, supporting child victims and witnesses, helping those who may turn to crime, and responding to offences. You can’t end a circle of violence by punishment – only by providing the help that wasn’t available in the first place. There should be a sustainable programme that educates, train for a trade, given access to health care, adequate housing for the duration of their training. We cannot stand back and wish these people away. The lack of parental love makes them hostile and cynical towards the society. They show contempt for other people, and the total lack of any moral sense that it demonstrates. When this tendency goes to an extreme, problems arise. Some of the young want to throw away all the traditional principles and beliefs, most of which are very good for selfcultivation. They are reluctant to listen to the advice from older generation. School education plays an important role to teach traditional beliefs. Secondly, the present situation also calls for a control and supervision on the mass media. Books and programs should be in good quality. There should be more educational books and programmes for young children to tell them how to distinguish the right from the wrong. Thirdly, mutual understanding between parents and children is also very important. Parents can spend much time staying with their children and patiently carry out the duty of family education.
Honour for Abiola: Renaming Unilag is not enough For me, the renaming of UNILAG in honour of MKO is not a bad idea but government should not stop at that because it is too little an honour for Nigeria’s greatest politician. Since some other great Nigerians have more than one national monument named after them, Abiola, the only Nigerian Presidential candidate who was killed simply because he won an internationally recognized free and fair election should not be honoured less. Naming
TUDENTS of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and other interest groups who some days ago vehemently objected to the renaming of that University after the late statesman and democrat, Moshood Abiola (MKO) may have their reasons. Their action can however not be described as new because when the University of Ife was similarly renamed Obafemi Awolowo University also in the month of May, 25 years ago, the decision did not go down well with some people especially the alumni of the University. In earnest, the problem has nothing to do with the name used; rather it has to do with the inability of some people to accept change. Indeed, if UNILAG was from its inception named MKO University, the opposition to its being renamed the University of Lagos that many appear to like now could probably have been more acidic. It thus makes sense to allow those opposed to the renaming of the University to vent their grievances provided they donot violently compel the rest of us to see the issue from their own perspective only.
a University or a Sports Complex or a Parliament building named after him. The man did not die while seeking to own any university and as such it is not a university that would remind posterity about him. Again he did not die because he wanted to be a legislator; instead, he died because he contested and won an election to be President. Those who say the election was inconclusive are only in tune with the booby scheme of an ambitious
The renaming of UNILAG in honour of MKO is not a bad idea but government should not stop at that because it is too little an honour for Nigeria’s greatest politician
one institution after him even if it were to be my own revered University of Ibadan is not enough. The Abuja National Stadium and indeed the National Assembly Complex which have been suggested as more befitting can be added but they are, to me, still inadequate. Abiola did not die because he wanted
military elite. Abiola did not only win in the polling booths in military barracks across the nation as revealed by the Nigerian Election Monitoring Group (NEMG), he also defeated his opponent in the latter ’s home base. Thus MKO met all the legitimate requirements for becoming President. Accord-
Unilag: The outrage of a renaming
NE of my greatest fears is someday to wake up and to hear that the University of Jos, my beloved alma mater, has ceased to be, and has been renamed the Yakubu Gowon University. Or that the University of Ibadan would come to be known as Olusegun Obasanjo University; and since the inimitable Nnamdi Azikiwe in his lifetime vigorously rejected the moves by Jubril Aminu as minister for education to rename the University of Nigeria, Nsukka after him, perhaps, then it might become Alex Ekwueme University. Because the University of Sokoto has already been named after Usmanu Dan Fodio, may be soon, in compensation, the federal government would rename the University of Abuja after Shehu Shagari, and thus the university we now know as the University of Abuja will become Shehu Shagari university. Someday, too, even the University of Port-Harcourt may be called Ken Saro-Wiwa University or even Goodluck Jonathan University. The federal University of Technology Abeokuta will soon
also become the Ernest Shonekan University of Technology. Fellow Nigerians, listen to these names, and the implications of these acts of re-naming: it is called diminution. These renamings will further reduce the grace and the symbolic agency of these institutions; it does reflect the decline of the Nigerian ideal too, this crass celebration of the individual, even those who may be anti-heroes in the Nigerian reality over a common place. This is what sparked the outrage this past week with the president’s ex-cathedral act, renaming the University of Lagos into the Moshood Abiola University, after the winner of the June 12, 1993 elections who was murdered in federal care under Abdulsalami Abubakar, who himself may soon have a University – the Federal University of Technology Minna, renamed after him. These are acts that make Nigeria seem extremely primitive and medieval in comparison to other nations here and now in the 21st century. There is a feudal undercurrent in the consciousness of government. This is why on a day
which celebrates democracy – the so called Nigerian Democracy day – the elected president of this federation acts in the most undemocratic of ways. Naming a national institution without proper consultation and protocol after an individual, whose provenances are by all indications very divisive. It is divisive politics. t is myopic action. And I think it is time to test I the limits of executive au-
thority in the courts over this act by President Goodluck Jonathan. Since 1999 the PDP government in Nigeria has engaged in the project of revisionism. It renames, re brands, and readjusts Nigeria’s national calendars to suit the limited and personal visions of the PDP and its interests irrespective of the Nigerian reality, starting with the day May 29 as Democracy Day. In my mind as an Igbo in Nigeria, May 29 is a day of infamy. It is the day that symbolizes the massacre of the Igbo across the land leading to events that spiraled into one of the costliest wars of the 20th century. But the PDP government
ingly, what should be named after him is the Presidential Villa. The National Assembly should feel free to once again invoke its famous strategy of the doctrine of necessity to formally proclaim the late elder statesman President from June 22 1993 when his elections was annulled till July 07 1998 when he died. Thereafter, MKO should be post-humously decorated by President Jonathan with the award of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).
ne of the positive ef fects of all of these is that it would ensure that the absurd annulment of an election does not recur in our history. More importantly, it would encourage the political class of today to imbibe the traits of selflessness - a virtue whose absence in our polity is largely responsible for the nation’s stunted political growth. Oh yes, on this subject no other Nigerian group has a greater blame than our political class. It is true that Abiola’s ordeal was formally executed by the military but the latter was aided by his competitors and associates. First, the National Republican Convention (NRC) and their candidate defeated by Abiola in the June 12 1993 election greedily refused to accept defeat as is usual with the average Nigerian politician. Second, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Abiola’s own political party, his campaign managers and even his running mate ditched their flag bearer as Nigerian politicians always do. Third, some of the chieftains who
under Olusegun Obasanjo chose that day, I think specifically, to insult collective Igbo psyche and sensibilityin a very insensitive way. If Nigeria wishes to enact a democracy day, it should be clearly marked by the day Nigeria assumed her republican status – November 16, which also marks the birthday of Nigeria’s nationalist hero and greatest fighter for freedom and democracy and independence – Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. That is what other nations would have done for symbolic effect. Nigeria’s Republican charter of 1963 clearly marks its day of democracy. It was the day, by the act of the parliament of its first
PAGE 18—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
formed the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) ostensibly to fight Abiola’s cause and who everyone thought would on the basis of activism or ethnic sentiments take the fight to a logical end later capitulated so as to serve as Ministers in the government of the usurpers of our collective mandate. Against this backdrop, nothing is too much for MKO if the government of the day becomes humane and decides to give honour to whom is due. The other honour which Abiola deserves is for the government to, for his sake, show greater commitment to democracy. In all that they do, our politicians should for the sake of Abiola remember that democracy is premised on the sovereignty of the people, the rule of law, majority rule and minority rights as well as free and fair elections. It is the people who should matter the most in a democracy but not in our clime. Whether the Nigerian people are happy or not does not matter for as long as our politicians can materially induce opinion moulders to engage the rest of us in the futile debate of what to expect in the 2015 elections that are due in three year’s time. When shall we discuss what is due to the people now? Meanwhile, one obvious difference between military rule and democracy is the mode of getting people into political offices .While the former handpicks, the latter elects. In Nigeria however, there is doubt if we have genuine democrats. Otherwise why for example, would some politicians elected into the
Take note of the acronym, for it indeed is a MAULing of history and the erasure of pedigree. Imagine yourself training as a doctor at MAULTH. There is also the question of whether the president can by a single wave of his hand change the name of a national institution such as the University of Lagos. he University of Lagos was established by an T act of parliament in 1962
with a bill introduced by the honourable Aja Nwachukwu, as minister for education and under the Vicechancellorship of Dr. Eni Njoku – one of Africa’s finest scientists and administrators in the 20th century.
The president cannot just wake up and announce a change of the name of the University of Lagos without clear procedural integrity
republic, it broke free of the British Commonwealth. Nigeria started on the road of its republican restoration in 1999 after years of military tyranny. We cannot sweep the facts of our history under the rug on the whims and caprice of just a few individuals.But let me go to the specific question of the current president Goodluck Jonathan’s rather antidemocratic action this week in renaming the University of Lagos into MAUL – the Moshood Abiola University, Lagos.
The University charter is clear on the governance and mission of the University. As a public institution, any changes to that charter – including its change of name and mission – ought to be made by the Governing Council, which is basically, the Trustees of the University, and by the act of parliament under which the University of Lagos was established. The president thus acted outside of his authority, and basically usurped the functions of an established au-
office of state governor subvert democracy at local government level by imposing their party stalwarts rather than have the people elect their own councilors?
ext month, Gover norship elections will hold in Edo State with an obsolete voters register because claims and counter-claims by politicians have stopped INEC from updating the register thereby disenfranchising many citizens. Whereas Electoral bodies are equipped to handle such logistical issues in other parts of the world, Nigerian politicians deliberately heat up the polity when elections are drawing near only for INEC to invite them to a meeting where it would then be agreed by all that best practices in election management be put on hold to avoid bloodshed. With the unending decamping from one party to the other, each political party now has its own rigging professionals hence they are all united in thwarting any effort to computerize our election process. We are told now and again that because of the low literacy rate in our nation, it is premature to use technology to redress our electoral lapses. Yet the same illiterates are made to follow some technological devices to obtain international passports for travels; use the electronic telecommunication system popularly known as GSM and transact banking businesses. If the same technology is barred from our election process, how then can we have free and fair election which is a prerequisite for sustainable democracy?
thority, by acting with such extreme executive authority. It is presidential overreach. Perhaps Dr. Jonathan still imagines Nigeria to be under military rule, where without the oversight of parliamentary or judicial authority, the military head could act with absolute and unquestioning finality. This is not so. This is a democracy and the president must be reined-in and reminded that in a democracy, there are limits to presidential power and authority. The president cannot just wake up and announce a change of the name of the University of Lagos without clear procedural integrity.However, more disturbing for me besides the president’s fiat that closed down the University of Lagos following students protest of the change of the name of their University, is the statement that the Federal Government would back down on this matter of renaming the University of Lagos after Kashimawo Abiola. I do not know what the president knows but this is what I know: in a democracy, the president’s word is by no means final. Nigeria is no longer run by a military junta even though it feels so on occasions. And on this matter of renaming the University of Lagos, I think the president got a terrible advise.The students, the council, alumni, and parents of the University of Lagos, should test the president’s power in law by taking the current federal authority to court and seeking a restraining order against this arbitrary executive order.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 19
So lonely in the university! Dear Rebecca
AM 16 years old in my first year in the university. I feel lonely in school and some campus guys with cars have been putting pressure on me to go out with them. I know what they really want is sex and I am not ready to go into all that. My mum always stresses the need for a girl to remain a virgin until marriage. I have not been able to tell my friends of my loneliness for fear of wrong advice; not that they are bad. Please advise me. Kate, Bayelsa REPL Y REPLY
OU are sensible to remember your mother’s advice about boys. Keep this up so that you too can pass the same advice to your daughter in future, telling her how you kept yourself pure for her father. Now, it is normal to be lonely when one leaves home for an adult institution like the university. If you are a boarder in a secondary school, things are not so bad because you have house mistresses and matrons, and are under the supervision of teachers. Friends are easier to have too because you are still children, if not in age, at heart, and can play and quarrel. In the university you are expected to be an
adult, and treated as such, so, if you are not someone who mixes easily, you are left in a corner, especially by the girls. Even where you have made friends, there is competition about one thing or the other, and they may not be the right sort of friends for you, unless you are mature and disciplined in your attitude, and are not easily influenced by them. Having a boyfriend is not the true solution to your loneliness. At your age, you should have both boys and girls as friends. Study your mates carefully and choose responsible ones who take their studies seriously. Friendship with boys should only involve exchanging books, cassettes, etc, discussing your studies and other general issues, and chatting. You may chat with the car owner students, but make it plain you don’t want romance. So, don’t accept lifts or meet in isolated corners. Greet politely when you meet and move on. Apart from your studies, take up hobbies you enjoy, join fellowships, the reading or drama club, etc. Don’t wait for other students to come and talk to you, greet people around you cheerfully and you will not feel lonely. Later when you are more mature emotionally, say as from 18, you may start having boyfriends, but there should be no sex, and your parents should know them or about them.
Having a boyfriend is not the true solution to your loneliness. At your age, you should have both boys and girls as friends
She now avoids me! Dear Rebecca
AM a 32 years old businessman. My girlfriend of seven years is 26 years old and is doing her Youth Service. We met while she was in secondary school. Midway into her high school, I left Enugu to go to work in Lagos. Because my mission to Lagos was not successful, I could cut off communication with her for 2 years. When we were together I avoided a strong relationship with her because I was not financially strong. When I came back, I found out she is now serving. I invited her and formally proposed to her. She told me that when she was serious with me I was not, but promised to think about it. After this, she started to avoid me. I am reliably informed that she has had proposals from two other men. What do I do? Kenny, Rivers State REPL Y REPLY
know how you feel but two years can make a big difference in a romantic relationship when there has been no contact. Since you were not locked up,
I see no justification for your not contacting her in any way for two years. Failed business or not having a job is no excuse. If you had serious intentions towards her, you would have been warm in your relationship during the five years you dated. When you got to Lagos, you would have written to her to let her know how you were getting on. Not every girl is after a man with money or a top job. Some would settle for a nice man who is responsible, kind and warm, even if he has no car. I am afraid you seem insensitive. The lady must have been heartbroken when she failed to hear from you at all. It opened her eyes into realizing that you were not truly fond of her, considering the fact that you were not warm towards her in the past. You can’t just walk back into her life like that and expect her to accept you immediately. Naturally, other men must have approached her in your absence, particularly as she had been making progress in her education. I advise you sit down to assess your real feelings towards her, and ask yourself if she is really your ideal woman. If she is, tell her, and ask her if she still feels any-
thing for you. Explain to her your lack of warmth in the past. Give her time to think things over and don’t harass her
with letters or visits. If ‘No’ is her decision, accept it and leave her alone. You will meet another lady of your choice.
My girl got laid by my brother! Dear Rebecca I am a sixteen year old boy in love with a girl who has been friends for with me for 6 years. She only allows me to kiss and touch her breasts. As for sex, she says she is saving herself for the future. Once she set eyes on my brother, who’s an undergraduate and a good dresser,for the first time, her attitude towards me changed. I noticed that she avoids me when I visit her home. Unknown to me, she had written to my brother and they had become friends. While I was at school, they made love. My brother confessed to me and apologized. I feel hurt. What do I do to this girl? A.O., Benin-City
REPL Y REPLY I know it hurts, but do nothing to her. She owns her body and she has the right to give it to whoever she likes. It is painful that she chose your own
brother, and he in his weakness, allowed himself to be seduced. It is good that he apologized to you. Forgive him; very few men, young or old, can resist making love to girls who fling themselves at them. They grab the opportunity, and move on. Chalk the whole thing up to experience. You and this girl became friends when you were only ten years of age. I assume she is the same age as you are or even younger. Both of you are too young for sex even though I know that this is jet age. Irresponsible sex can bring unwanted pregnancy which can disrupt your education and cause trouble in the families, and venereal diseases which can cause sterility in both male and female if not treated early and properly. Your brother has to be careful too. There’s the dreaded AIDS which has no cure yet, and can be contracted by anyoneold, young, rich or poor. You should have girls as friends now, and postpone sex until you are much older. Leave this girl alone.
•All letters for publication on this page should be sent to: Dear Rebecca, Vanguard Media Ltd, Kirikiri Canal, P.M.B 1007, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 3, 2012
0808 066 0660 (Texts only!)
Some men actually like them fat!
ARA had often moaned that someone else had got the life she was supposed to have. We were mates at the secondary school and have remained close decades after we left. A fairly brilliant student, we were all mildly surprised when she opted for matrimony. Within the spate of a decade, she’d not only had four children, she’d become fat and frumpy. It didn’t help that her husband’s clerical job didn’t pay much to keep the family above the breadline. In the end Lara resigned her low-paid job and trained as a caterer. “It was the best move I’d made so far,” Lara had said. “After running a modest canteen, I was extremely lucky when one of our mates in school helped me get the job of running the canteen in her office. It was a big one too and the responsibilities were challenging. But there were perks too - it meant the difference between paying the school fees and putting decent meals on the table.
ou wowould think Lere my husband would appreciate the extra money. The
business centre he set up when he was retrenched wasn’t bringing in much and that really frustrated him. When we argued, he said lots of things that I didn’t know when to shut up, that I looked like the back of an elephant. He even complained I came home reeking of kitchen fume. “Thanks to his criticism, I spruced myself up a bit. I got some new clothes I could afford and tried applying makeup. The staff teased me but I enjoyed the attention. . But the day that really changed my life for the better happened some nine months ago. We were already packing up for the day when one of the top officials sent for me. He was going to work late and wondered if I couId rustle up something for him to eat. I told him I would try my best. The rest of the canteen staff were all set to leave, so I told them not to bother, I would handle things.
hen I later took the tray to the man, we shall call him Leo, he was already on the settee in his office with a lot of files on the coffee table. I cleared a portion of the
table and set the food down. I gave him drinks from his fridge and told him I would wait at the reception when he was through. He shook his head and told me to sit with him as he ate. He told me to help myself to a drink and I took a bottle of stout . He raised his brow slightly and giggled. When I sat next to him again, I noticed a photo of three smiling children – all boys and they looked just like him. He chatted as he had his meal and realied what friendly man he was. “The setting was so domesticated then I suddenly realised I missed
proper sex and felt sexually drawn to Leo. I don’t know where the courage came from but as he raised his glass for more drinks, I leant forward and kissed him. Leo’s eyes widened in surprise. I thought he might recoil, embarrassed, and order me out of his office. Instead, he pulled me closer and frantically kissed me back. As he pushed my top up, I tugged at his trousers. His fingers were all over my boobs. I was wearing an old, grey bra, but he didn’t mind. He pushed it up, wanting skin to skin. Some of the files laid scattered on the floor
but we took no notice. I ended up with some of them under my buttocks as we made frantic love. I felt I was that ‘someone else’ ) that I had finally taken my life back.
hen it was over, Leo seemed happy with himself as he gave me a cuddle. ‘You’re one sexy big girl!’ he whispered. In that moment, I knew it would happen again. And it has. Sex with my husband had become something that happened on a Saturday night when he rolled in from his beer parlour to wake me up. I missed proper sex and
thank goodness, Leo is providing that . “I suppose you could say we’re having an affair - except that Leo and I never meet anywhere but at the office. Yet it’s enough for me. Lere and I are still arguing. A few nights ago, I even blurted out in the heat of temper: ‘I’m sleeping with one of my bosses!’ He looked at me as if I’d gone off my senses. ‘Don’t be daft,’ he snorted. ‘Who’d want a fat slob like you?’ Well, Leo does. And that’s why I won’t stop what I’m doing. I can face life and my husband’s callous indifference as long as Leo wants me. He’s a very generous man too. . Come to think of it, I must be a lot cheaper than those oity-toity high-maintenance girls in the office - and I’m no threat “Thanks to his generousity, I’m able to afford small luxuries for the family – including my husband! I’ve shed a bit of weight too – not that much as I enjoy my food. If Lere notices anything, he hasn’t said a word. He should really be gratefulthat another man is helping him shoulder his responsibilities.
Forward, backward bends & the spinal twist go. Turn the trunk to the left and lower it till the forehead is resting on the left knee or your level best. Retain the posture for, say 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. Benefits: The triangle improves the forward bending of
the spinal column. It massages the abdominal increasing the digestive fire and banishing indigestion and constipation. It helps with stretching taut, the hamstrings and strengthening of the shoulders. The Camel.
HE ability to bend forward and backward and twist the spine laterally ensure flexibility to the spinal column and rest of the torso. This suppleness, according to the advanced practitioners of yoga, spells great health and youthfulness. A very fit upper body guarantees you at boundless energy and well-being and since most of our vital organs are encased there. It makes sense to devote sufficient time exercising it. There are many forward and backward bending postures in yoga. But we shall for now restrict ourselves to a variation of the triangle and the camel. The triangle: Technique: Stand with the feet about a yard apart. Clasp your hands at your back and turn the fingers upward while pushing the hands as high as they’ll
Technique: Sit on the heels and arrange the hands next to the feet with the fingers pointing away from the body. Inhale deeply and raise the body off the heels humping up the chest and throwing back the head. The elbows must be fully extended. Breathe normally once you are in the posture and retain the position for 10 seconds. Rest a bit
The Camel instills backward flexibility to the spine
* The Carmel Pose
and repeat. Benefits: The Camel instills backward flexibility to the spine. It stretches the muscles of the front of the trunk from the pelvic region to the chin. It strengthens the arms and expands the chest allowing for more intake of oxygen. The Spinal Twist. Technique:
* Spinal Twist
After the practise of the bending postures of the Triangle and the Camel, it’s very refreshing to perform the Spinal Twist. Sit with both legs stretching in front of you. Bend the right knee and place the right foot across the left knee. Bring the left hand to clutch the left leg passing it on the outside of the right knee. Place the right hand at the waistline and turn the trunk neck and head to the right. Breathe deeply into the lower abdomen. Retain the position for 10 or 15 seconds and repeat on the other side. Benefits: The squeezing movements improves the circulation and stops stagnation in the vital organs ridding body of poisonous wastes and breaking down fatty tissue. It allows the spinal area to come more alive with life-force giving you added strength and mental focus.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 21 email@example.com
What kind of mother walks out on her young children?
TEPHANIE was just six years old, and her brother 19 months when their mother walked out on them - and her marriage. “She left us with our next door neighbour as she often did when she had to go out after work , but this time, she never returned,” she recalled. “To this day, I’m not really sure what precipitated her decision, though the marriage had clearly been in trouble. Her leaving was a very humiliating experience I was too young to cope with the pitying looks of the neighbours. Some were outright nasty in their comments. “My dad went to pieces. He obviously couldn’t cope with two kids and a full-time job, so he packed us off to his parents who were everything good parents should be. I know my dad will always be there for us, but because of Mum leaving, we didn’t spend so much time together. I have some email contact with my mother’s half sister here in Nigeria, so I do hear a little of what she’s up to. I know she’s in Ghana, her native country, and I apparently have a half-sister whom she’d dumped at her mother ’s. Though I’m curious about my halfsister, I have no desire to meet her.
have very faint memory of my Mum and when I see photographs of us together when I was a baby, it is very odd because I don’t feel any emotional connection to her. While it is easy to assume that I must be desperate to learn why Mum walked out on two small children, nothing
could be further from the truth. I have no desire for any contact with her or any interest in finding out why she left us like she did. She means nothing to me.” According to clinical psychologist Linda Blair, there are particular implications if the motherdaughter bond is broken too early. “The motherdaughter relationship is the hardest and most complicated relationship there is because your mother is your role model and care-giver,” she said “Most importantly, she is the person a woman has to break away from to become an adult herself. Men may go on to be mothered by wives and girlfriends, but women have to learn to mother themselves. When a girl loses her mother too young, she often has to grow up too fast and take up responsibility for herself too soon. The result is while she may be very capable and fiercely independent, she can also be full of anxieties and fmd it difficult to adapt to new situations.”
minat had just entered second ary school when her mother walked out on the family to live with her lover. Almost 30 years later, she still bears the scars of her mother’s decision to leave her family for another man. “An abandonment that shaped my life,” she said. “I grew up with no confidence. If you think your own mother doesn’t love you, why should anyone else like you? And even at the age of 11, I knew this wasn’t something most mothers did. Mums are supposed to put their children first, but with me and my two brothers, there was no
over-protective of my children, I’m proud of the way I turned out.”
Cunning Man Die Cunning Man Bury Am! (Humour)
mother fighting to have access. She was more than happy to leave us with our father. There were other children at school who had divorced parents, but they all lived with their mums, so I always felt the odd one out.
hile many fa thers walk out on their families, it is still unusual for a mother to leave a marriage without wanting custody of her children, let alone to have little or no contact with them. Even in this age of high divorce rates, it’s seen by many as going against nature. After Mum left, even though her own mother, our grandmother, was wonderful and Dad did his best, he was having to work hard to provide for us. I had to look after myself. I was the one who made sure my uniform was ironed and my books ready for the next day - all the things a mum would normally do. Nobody ever sat us down to explain what was going on. As a result, I thought that my parents had split up be-
cause we were too much to handle. “My mother was never maternal, but there had been good times before she left. She always made a fuss on our birthdays and Christmases were wonderful. She would make a special effort to find exactly the toys we asked for. In spite of maintaining some contact with her, there was still a huge sense of rejection. We were supposed to spend the last weekend of the month with her, but she always made it clear we got in the way of her new life. She even made Dad give her money to buy us food when we were with her. I remember the day I had my first period and rang her. Her reaction was that it was no big deal. I had hoped that she would make a fuss of me as my friends’ mothers did of their daughters, but she didn’t.
o this day, I haven’t got to the bottom of why our Mum didn’t
ONWUSONYE, for you are special and unique. And if there is anybody I will give out my heart for safe keeping and still find the heart pulsating and undivided with passionate love,it is you, oh my Rose. Akachukwu Ferdinand, firstname.lastname@example.org 08063819314
OUR column to express your loving thoughts in words to your sweetheart. Don’t be shy. Let it flow and let him or her know how dearly you feel. Write now in not more than 75 words to: The Editor, Sunday Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. E.mail: email@example.com Please mark your envelope: “LOVE NOTES"
My sample of beauty
My idea of an ideal love,you are the sample of beauty to the world around me. To me, there will never be someone like you,ROSEMARY UDOKA
You gave me hope
It is so good meeting you at the first place. You gave me hope, you gave me life. You gave me love which is the greatest. Above all, you are my love, my inspiration and my best friend. Thanks for being there for me. Chinedu Aniegboka firstname.lastname@example.org 08037704235
Love offers security
want much to do with us. I don’t see that much of her now. I feel it’s too late for her to be my mother and there’s no point in delving into it further. She seems to have blocked out what she did. She’ll talk abut events in my life as if she had been there when she couldn’t have been. Having children of my own, I just can’t understand how any mum could leave, especially when her kids are so young and need her so much. It’s incomprehensible to me.
ome have sug gested she might have depression or couldn’t cope because she was young when she married, but every question brings up more questions. There were close relatives around if she needed emotional support, and she could have fought for access to her children, but she didn’t. What happened to me made me determined to be the best mother I can, and though I’m a bit
man is walking down the street when he spots a woman with perfect breasts. “Would you let me nibble your breasts for N5,000?” he asks. “Are you crazy?” she replies furiously and walks away. He runs after her. “Would you let me nibble your breasts for Nl O,OOO?” he pleads. “No way,” the woman replies. The man persists. “Would you let me nibble your breasts for N25,OOO?” he asks. The woman thinks about it and says: “Hmm, N25,OOO is a lot of money. Ok, just once, mind you. But not here let’s go down that dark alley.” There she takes off her blouse and bra. He caresses her perfect breasts, fondles them slowly, kisses them and buries his head between them, but doesn’t nibble them. “Well,” the woman says impatiently, “are you going to nibble them or not?” “No way!” the man replies. ‘’Not at that price.”
Special Diet! (Humour)
A woman makes an appointment with her doctor for the second time in a fortnight. “You look paler and more exhausted than the last time I saw you,” the doctor frowns. “Are you having three meals in a day as I advised?” “What?” the lady gasps. “Didn’t you say three males a day?”
Love fosters peace,rather than war,humility rather than pride,it builds up broken-down relationship,and offers security in time of adversity,true love keeps on loving.because,it fire is simply inextinguishable! Chris Onunaku 08032988826/08052757049.
Do you know why I always title you "my woman". There are billions of women in this world, every other woman is their woman. You are the only one that understands me, the only one I can trust and love for eternity. You're my everlasting property, my best friend, my blood. Don't assume the strength of my love, because it is greater and larger than your imagination. Believe me my love, nothing in this world can stop me from loving you...... sweet dreams!!! Kelechi Ndubiusi (KC) email@example.com, 08032900530
PAGE 22—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
CCORDING to re search, more than 50% of people actually think themselves as shy, but is the feeling shyness or social phobia? Shyness in children could be normal to an extent, but when that shyness is unchecked and grows into a situation of extreme fear in a social phobic adult, it becomes abnormal with an inhibiting feeling that could hinder the adult from reaching new heights and achievements. From infancy, many children naturally show signs of shyness which include fear of strangers and new situation, or avoiding eye contact. Parents ought to encourage assertiveness in their children until they outgrow the shy feeling and become more confident. Children should be encouraged to speak their minds and share their opinions on issues at home, school, e.t.c. Cognitive or environmental factors cause shyness in children in later childhood while the fear of embarrassment when facing new situation is more noticeable in children between age 4-5 and then again at age 12. Extreme shyness leads to a withdrawn and sometimes moody personality. Although the person enjoys watching others, he/ she would not want to assert himself in a group. This inhibiting feeling could become a hindrance in exploring and achieving so much in future. Therefore the onus is on the parents to consistently walk their children through their fears into freedom. There is reprieve for the shy and the social phobic for at the junction between fear and the desire to join-in lays the opportunity for them to be taught to be assertive. The good news is that shyness can be successfully overcome. Experts suggest that parents should understand the reason the child is overtly shy and then try the remedies patiently and
continuously until they find the strategies that work for them.
Causes of shyness in children
Shyness in children may arise from a variety of ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’ factors. Majority of causes are related to how these children are nurtured while growing up. Here are some of the reasons for extreme shyness in children. Extreme Emotional Sensitivity Some children are born to be much more sensitive and vulnerable than others. They need to be handled delicately. Insensitivity to their feelings makes them go in to a shell. They are too scared to subject themselves to new things for fear of getting hurt.
Imitation of Parental Behavior hildren learn every thing through imitation. If parents themselves are not that outgoing and shy by nature, then shyness in their children is highly probable. That is because parents are role models. Insecurity Insecurity can lead to shyness in children. Children who have abusive parents tend to be insecure and shy by nature. Harshly Criticizing and Dominating Parents Another reason might be over critical and dominating parents. Children are pushed into a shell when they are criticized so much, that they fear making mistakes! This fear of making mistakes leads to shyness, as they want to shield themselves from criticism.
Low Confidence An overall low confidence in personality can be the reason for shyness in children. This low confidence may have been induced by peer pressure, comparison with siblings or even bullying in school. Prolonged
When a child is subjected to prolonged isolation from society, he/she never gets an opportunity to learn social cues and develop social interaction skills. When such a child is subjected to a social interaction suddenly, it makes him/her very uncomfortable and shy. That bad experience further diminishes their confidence of interaction, which isolates them even more.
How to overcome shyness in children
Here are some ways of overcoming shyness in children. Encourage Social Interaction ncourage your child to meet new people and make friends. Give him an opportunity to know other people in family and school. Encourage participation is sports and other a c t i v i t i e s . Reach Out and Let Him/ Her Open Up To You A shy child needs to be delicately coaxed into opening up. Be a friend to your child and don’t mock his insecurities. Nudge him into opening up to you by bonding with him/her first. Do some great fun activities together. Make Them Feel Secure et them feel secure and know that you are there for them. Teach him/ her that it’s okay to make mistakes. Make them understand that everybody fails at the start and it is okay if they take their own time in learning things. Lead By Example Be outgoing yourself. The child will naturally learn to shed its shyness by seeing you open up. You are their role models. Give Him/Her Opportunities to Grow Encourage them to do things on their own. Let them build confidence through small victories. Be thrifty in criticism but generous in lauding their small achievements. Experts disagree on a relation between shyness and social phobia but the primary difference is in the severity and extremity of the fear exhibited
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 23
News : Why I wept openly for Nigeria - Buhari
"It was tears and tears, then followed by bloodbath. Oh Allah! don't forsake thy orphans come 2015.
M A I L B A G
All letters bearing writers' names and full addresses should be typed and forwarded to: The Editor, Sunday Vanguard, Kirikiri Canal, P. M. B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Indecent dressing: A menace among youths Dear Sir
ODESTY, decency, virtue and sincerity are terms that parents have employed in child training/up bringing but today, modernity in dressing seems to have swept all these away. In most higher institutions across the country, indecent dressing among the youths has become a menace. This has been a topical issue in Nigerian institution due to the challenges posed by indecent dressing of students. Dressing indecently is said to be dressing in a way that is likely to seduce, surprise or offend people. Dress the way you want to be addressed is a popular saying on everybody’s lips used in buttressing the fact that your dressing tells a whole lot about you. Ladies in higher institutions have become the main victims of this because their mode of dressing does not portray them of being responsible. Hardly will you see any higher institution of learning that is not faced with this challenge as most female students dress indecently or seductively. Guys also dress indecently when their boxers show above their trousers or there is no underwear and their trousers barely stay on their waist. Nudity is now the order of the day in our higher institutions and society whereby values, customs, culture and morals are neglected all in the name of latest trend in fashion. Those parts of the body that are supposed to be covered are open freely to public gaze. The dressing pattern associated with female students are skimpy and tight dresses, transparent or revealing dresses, bump shorts, low waist, off shoulder, spaghetti, armless, e.t.c. Education serves as the bedrock of any developing society, it is fundamental to the development of any nation. This is why government at all levels give it high premium in order to train students both intellectually and character-wise. However, it is pertinent that more emphasis has been placed on mental education while the moral aspect is completely ignored and this has led to all forms of immorality,
including indecent dressing in higher institution of learning. Well, it is now evident that cultural and media imperialism of the western world serves as the major reason for students indulging in indecent dressing. Also, poor parenting, peer group, pressure, wrong use of the internet and fading cultural valves and norms are contributing factors. It is agreed that immoral dressing is doubtlessly a foreign idea that is imposed on the Nigerian culture in the name of modernization or civilization. Nigerians are identified with their
beautiful and marvelous attire like Iro and buba, agbada and sokoto (loose – neck, long- sleeve blouse), zani, Riga, Mayati etc. The multiple effect posed by indecent dressing include: exposure to sexual assault(rape), prostitution, diseases like HIV/AIDS, loss of respect, misrepresentation, poor academic performance that have plagued our institutions of higher learning. Parents should be good moral examples to their children. They should also give attention and regulate the films they watch at home. The mass
media should promote good moral values while religious leaders should preach against evil counsels and deliver those under demonic influence. Higher institution should introduce standard mode of dressing for students Also the legislators (Senate and House of Representatives) should enact laws condemning this act immediately, as it undermines the moral fabric of Nigerian society. *Atoba Oluwaseun Adeniyi Dept. of Mass Communication, The Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State.
Oshiomhole: Keeping his electoral promises Dear Sir,
HEN he was preparing to contest governorship elections what he had uppermost on his mind was how to make Edo State better than he met it. Right from when he was NLC President, Adams Oshiomhole demonstrated that he had something spectacular for his generation. And we are witnesses to it today. The style of Oshiomhole’s road construction is unique and nonpareil. What about the buses which have made transportation of the general public a lot easier. From the enormous work he is doing at the Central Hospital in Benin City, there is no gainsaying the fact that Central Hospital will be wearing a new look when this work reaches completion. And it is a good omen for health care in Edo State. Oshiomhole has not betrayed his manifestoes in any ramification. He has turned the National Museum, Benin City to a tourist centre. Besides visiting National Museum’s gallery to behold our ancient art, you can now visit National Museum as a tourist centre to watch the resplendent water fall fountains which have stolen the hearts of Edo residents. Since his secondary school days until now, Oshiomhole has never changed his style of frugal dressing. His style of dressing reminds us about our dear
Tai Solarin of the blessed memory who dressed in pairs of shorts for decades even until his demise without bothering himself about who likes it or not. Tai Solarin as an adept administrator in his Mayflower School produced professors and top academicians who treasure his memory today. Our dear Adams Aliu Oshiomhole is the only governor of Edo State that parleys much with the grassroots. Can you imagine a Nigerian governor eating fruits in the market place alongside market women? Do we need
a prophet to tell us that this man is God sent? It will do his adversaries a world of good if they commend the governor rather than cast aspersions on him. In spite of the enemies’ strategies, the heavens know that the amiable and hard working governor is going back to Edo State Government House. You don’t win elections on the pages of newspapers. A word is enough for the wise.
Ikhaghe is an author and analyst, based in Lagos.
Nigeria: A nation adrift in corruption & debt Dear Sir,
T is very annoying that while our politicians have once more spent money unnecessarily to celebrate the so-called Democracy Day, they are not worried that due to the expensive presidential system of government we are practising whereby our over-bloated elected and appointed politicians, are the highest paid in the world and the massive corruption in all facets of our national life, our internal and external debts now stand at $44b and the presidency is about to get a foreign loan of $7.9b to whet the gluttonous appetite of our ruling class! No wonder due to this ugly scenario, there are no ready funds to complete the East-West road and other numerous road projects, to build a 2nd Niger bridge (as the existing one might collapse at any moment), to create jobs for our youths that
would dissuade them from indulging in criminal activities, to complete the various electricity projects, like the one at Awka that would have curtailed daily power outages, the railway project and other projects that would have made the lives of the masses comfortable. Is it not a big shame that the federal government wants to concession the Apapa-Oshodi road? As a country adrift, the three tiers of government spend over 70% of the revenues accruing to them on recurrent expenditure. After that, there is little left for capital development and that is why our country is in such a mess and we the masses are suffering in the midst of plenty. *Ifeka Okonkwo Ahocol Housing Estate, Phase II, GRA, Awka.
PAGE 24—SUNDAY VANGUARD,JUNE 3, 2012
Nigeria’s increasing population: Problems arising
HERE’S a proverb which says ‘ when you’re dancing in the vil lage square, it’s onlookers who can judge whether you’re dancing well or not.’ This applies very well to Nigeria’s situation as portrayed in the article ‘Nigeria Tested by Rapid Rise in Population’ by Elisabeth Rosenthal, which was published in the New York Times on April 14th, 2012. The piece was about world population and the consequences of overpopulation, but with special emphasis on the increase in sub-Saharan Africa. It says ‘Last October, the United Nations announced the global population had breached seven billion and would expand rapidly for decades, taxing natural resources, if countries cannot better manage the growth. Nearly all of the increase is in sub-Saharan Africa, where the population rise far outstrips economic expansion. Of the roughly 20 countries where women average more than five children each, almost all are in the region.’ It went on to say that elsewhere in the developing world, in Asia and Latin America, fertility rates have fallen sharply in recent generations and now resemble those in the United States – just above two children per woman. ‘That transformation was driven in each country by a mix of educational and employment opportunities for women, access to contraception, urbanization and an evolving middle class. Whether similar forces will defuse the population bomb in sub-Saharan Africa is unclear.’ ‘The pace of growth in Africa is unlike anything else ever in history, and a critical problem,’ Joel E. Cohen, a professor of population at Rockefeller University in NewYork, was quoted as saying. The writer then focused on Nigeria. She must have researched her subject very well, because she was able to give a fairly balanced state of our nation, and our living conditions.
ccording to Ms. Rosenthal, ‘Across sub-Saharan Africa, alarmed governments have begun to act, often reversing longstanding policies that encouraged or accepted large families. Nigeria made contraceptives free last year, and officials are promoting smaller families as a key to economic salvation, holding up the financial gains in nations like Thailand as inspiration. Nigeria, already the world’s sixth most populous nation with 167 million people, is a crucial test case, since its success or failure at bringing down birthrates will have outsize influence on the world’s population. If this large nation rich with oil cannot control its growth, what hope is there for the many smaller poorer countries?’ It was a relief to read something about my country which didn’t have to do directly with financial scams, prostitution, rowdiness and drug issues. The piece was informative too. I didn’t know that Nigeria has become the world’s sixth most populous nation with 167 million people. Isn’t it interesting that it is a foreigner who can quote how many we are? All censuses so far in this country have always been inconclusive, as some interest groups protest inflation of figures in some areas of the country, and there are accusations of other nationals coming across the borders to be counted. Apparently, high populations attract more money from the centre purse, and are also useful for election results. It is impossible to strike an accurate figure each time, given the migratory habits of some ethnic groups, however, it’s nice to know that outsiders, at least, have a rough idea of
Helen Ovbiagele Woman Editor
derstand the need to have just the number of children they can conveniently offer a meaningful life to. Awareness campaigns on this should be intensified by the government, the media and the relevant NGOs, especially at grass root level. With almost a hundred universities in the country, graduates are poured into the streets every year to chase jobs that are not just available. Any wonder that, unwanted pregnancies, death from abortion, abandoned babies, criminal activities, militancy, violence at home and on the streets, are on the increase? Frustration from poverty and unemployment can trigger off any negative emotion. We all are at the receiving end of this nightmare as increased violence/criminal activities are robbing us of peace. Due to the bulging population, many parents on the lower social level, often in overcrowded accommodation and unemployed, are no longer able to care for their children, nor control them and raise them to become law-abiding citizens. These ones become law unto
themselves, and some have become a terror to their own families. Ms Rosenthal’s piece, with some pictures, showed a few appalling aspects of living conditions in Nigeria, - ‘..whole families squeeze into 7 by 11 feet rooms along a narrow corridor. Up to 50 people share a kitchen, toilet and sink, though the pipes in the neighborhood often no longer carry water’ ; ‘In Ketu, Nigeria, a newborn boy is attended to by the light of cellphones; the power having gone out.’ ; ‘at Alapere Primary School, more than 100 students cram into most classrooms, two to a desk.’ Well, I don’t know why that family with the baby chose to use light from cellphones, instead of the cheap rechargeable torches from China which abound all over the place, but the point there is the dismal electricity supply in the country. The piece says that ‘Internationally, the African population boom means more illegal immigration, already at a high, according to Frontex, the European border agency. There are up to 400.000 undocumented Africans in the United States.’
Nigeria, already the world’s sixth most populous nation with 167 million people, is a crucial test case, since its success or failure at bringing down birthrates will have outsize influence on the world’s population
how many we are. A knowledge of the population of any area – country, state, local government area, ward, village, hamlet, etc. is very important at any given time, because it is what will aid growth and development and adequate provision of social services. It goes much beyond the desire to scramble for money and political power. If we don’t know what the nation’s population is, the government cannot budget properly and effectively for provision of services. There would always be a shortage of everything – electricity, water, transport, roads, education and health services – if demands are higher than what the government can provide.
eter Ogunjuyigbe, a demographer at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, was quoted in the article as saying, ‘Population is key. If you don’t take care of population, schools can’t cope, hospitals can’t cope, there’s not enough housing – there’s nothing you can do to have economic development.’ Population explosion or not, the truth is that in Africa, we do love having children; whether we have the means to love and look after them well or not. It is a status symbol. No-one is against anyone having children, but it is wise for people to un-
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SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 25
unlimited at the site of the collapsed church building, claiming lives
Death in the church! Sur vivor and eye witness accounts of the Ibadan building collapse
BY OLA AJAYI, IBADAN
or those who died when a church build ing under construction in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, collapsed, they woke up on Wednesday, just like any other day but little did they know that the day would be their last and a painful one for others to remember. About 13 of them went with enthusiasm to the site of the New Covenant Church, Sagbe, Ojoo, Ibadan where they worked with all their strength thinking that at the end of the day, they would pocket their wages to fend for their families. They actually worked, but as they were waiting to receive their wages, it was death that came in such a sudden and painful way. After cleaning up when work was over, there was downpour and they had to take shelter in the church under construction. Suddenly, the deck gave way and heavy concrete fell on them. The collapse of the building was so deafening that people living opposite the church ran
out thinking it was an auto crash on the ever busy Ibadan-Oyo Road. By the time they came out, cloud of dust had enveloped the whole area and they saw two survivors struggling to come out of the rubbles with their legs trapped. Others were under the heavy concrete. Before help could come their way, they were dead. An eyewitness told Sunday Vanguard that immediately after the collapse of the build-
STORY IN BRIEF
from the spot. There were conflicting reports about the casualty at the site. While some claimed that five people died and two others were injured, a survivor said thirteen of them were working in the church and that only three survived. The survivor, Mr. Wole Sokunbi, said, “We were 13 people working on the building when the rain started and we were waiting under this building to collect our daily
Four of the construction workers were said to have died instantly while two others who were trapped inside the building were in coma and had been rushed to an undisclosed hospital in the city
ing, three persons were brought out dead. The pastor of the church, Pastor Olaoluwa Oluwasegun, and his wife betrayed emotions when they got to the scene.
ccording to an aged woman living opposite the church, the pastor ’s wife fainted when she discovered some people were still trapped under the rubbles. His husband stood motionless and had to be led by the hand away
allowances from pastor, the foreman. We suddenly heard the collapse of the building. Only the pastor, myself and one of the women fetching water for us survived”. However, many other people claimed that only five people died. Governor Abiola Ajimobi, after getting the report of the collapse around 1 a.m., denied himself of sleep. He came to the place with his wife, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, who did not believe her sight. His Special Adviser on Me-
dia, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said, in a statement: “Governor Ajimobi, in the early hours of Thursday, led other top members of his administration on a rescue mission to a church building under construction which collapsed at Sagbe in Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan. “Four of the construction workers were said to have died instantly while two others who were trapped inside the building were in coma and had been rushed to an undisclosed hospital in the city. “Gov. Ajimobi, who arrived at the scene around 1 a.m., on Thursday, in company of his wife, Florence, the state Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde and other top government officials, described the incident as terrible and disheartening.”
jimobi heaped the blame on the contractor handling the church building, saying he failed to use quality materials with the intention to cut cost. “If the contractor had not compromised quality, this incident would not have happened,” the governor said. He further lamented that the ugly incident happened despite repeated warnings that people should ensure quality in everything they were doing, including building construction. Ajimobi then ordered thorough investigation into the circumstances surround-
ing the collapse of the building. A woman narrated how it all happened. “They had finished working for the day. They had cleaned up and were waiting for the contractor. Then, the rain started. It was then they took shelter under the deck.
hen, suddenly, we heard a loud bang. Two of them who are Hausas tried to escape but the iron rod held their legs. But, they were quickly rescued and taken to the hospital.” A member of the church, Mr. Oyegoke Francis, described the incident as unfortunate. He prayed that God should give those injured quick recovery. Residents of the area commended Ajimobi, Federal Road Safety Corps, policemen and other security agents for their prompt response. As a result, it was gathered that others who could have died were rescued. Those injured were said to have been taken to an undisclosed hospital in the area while five corpses were evacuated to the morgue. Two of them were women while the remaining three were men. When Sunday Vanguard got to the scene, the bricklaying equipment were scattered all over. Items found at the site included head pans, bricklayer ’s knife, pairs of shoes, women wrappers, and shovels.
PAGE 26—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 3, 2012
Scars everywhere in Akwa Ibom villages four years after pogrom zVictims relive experience, seek compensation BY TONY NYONG HE ruins allegedly brought about by the fighters of Ando ni people of Eastern Obolo and their Western Andoni of Rivers State on Ikot Akpan Udo villages in Ukpum Ete clan in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State on April 28, 2008 are still visible almost four years after. Though a few youths have managed to erect make-shift structures on the rubbles left behind by the barbaric attack on their lands, many, particularly traders, farmers and fishermen in the area, who survived the shock, are still recounting their woes. At press time, aborigines of Ikot Akpan Udo can only point at the rubbles of their burnt buildings, shops, churches and market stalls to show that they were once proud owners of concrete houses in the kingdom. Poverty is palpable and almost visible among the people. Ikot Akpan Udo people lost 13 of their kinsmen, homes, valuables and economy to the invasion. They want justice; they want to be compensated. They want to know why the federal and the state governments should ig...we are all victims nore them and their call for attention. They want to know why those who were instigators of the pogrom and hoodlums de- lished in the community and all clared wanted by the police are the computer sets looted even today not only walking freely, when the school principal was but also benefiting from appoint- from Eastern Obolo. Like many others who fled ments by government. They claim that those who into the bush during the inciwere responsible for the car- dent, Angela Idim has not renage are members of the cur- covered from the trauma she rent government, and they told suffered. She said she was in the state police commissioner at primary six when the alleged Uyo during a recent meeting Andoni raid forced them into the that government should heed bush. For Akpan Udo Ukpong, he their call to rebuild the kingdom. Secretary to the Village Coun- could not come to terms with cil, Edem Alexander, told Sun- why government would grant day Vanguard at Uyo that gov- amnesty to the alleged perpeernment has not bothered about trators of such heinous crime the plight of the people who are after they pulled down a whole community while victims of the wallowing in abject poverty. invasion were abandoned. He said: “I am a retired teache said: “Government by the very action and po- er. When the perpetrators sition taken is setting a stage for came, we all fled and they deanother blood bath that may con- stroyed everywhere. We have sume the entire people and tried to get help from governwipe out the whole generation. ment after the incident but nothThose who fled the village in ing has come. The painful thing the wake of the infraction are is that those the government afraid of returning home to in- knew created the trouble in the vest, just as goods worth mil- area are the ones they are taklions of naira were lost to the ing care of now and leaving us to suffer. Many of us died of all conflict.” Life has not been the same sorts of ailments. We buried a after the incident as another cit- lot of people in the bush. Every izen, Pastor Emmanuel James, family has one bitter experience said he was still in pains fol- or the other to tell.” Many other victims of the lowing the destruction of the private school he had estab- raid and devastation spoke to
...villages in ruins
I was very close to death. I could not return to my beloved town for many weeks. For the whole period, I have lived in exile
Sunday Vanguard in Ikot Akpan Udo with so much emotion. They said four years after; the state government was yet to come up with anything as white paper on the report of the panel of enquiry that was set up.
hief Oscar Abel, acting Village Head of Ikot Akpan Udo, who also spoke, blinked several times while tears rolled down his chin as he relived the incident. He said: “My life was very close to death. I could not return to my beloved town for many weeks. For the whole period, I have lived in exile. Terror was un-
leashed on my community. Look at the remains of my building,” pointing at the rubbles of a building that had been overgrown by weeds directly in front of where he sat down with the reporter. Queried over what was the cause of the fight, he said: “Eastern Obolo accused us of being responsible for the death of their chief, but this is a lie from the pit of hell. They wanted to take our land by force. In1967, they killed two of our young men, Udo Etok Akpan and Akpan Edward Akpaka. In 1975, they burnt Itak Abasi Village and, in1989, they also killed one of our own, Etukudo Ukwa, and macheted five others. They destroyed churches and after we forgave them and accepted to live in harmony with them following a peace panel headed by one Pastor Offong of the Apostolic Church in the area they wreaked this havoc on us again. “We were tricked by them to come for a peace meeting. A church was chosen as venue for the peace talk, and, while we were all assembled in the church, they raided the village, destroyed all the houses, vandalized and looted the whole community. This 2008 attack was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.” Eteidung Akpan Urua Oton, the Village Head of Itak Abasi, also spoke. He said: “I was not in the village, I had gone to the farm when the aggressors invaded my village, killed 13 people and burnt all the houses. When I came back, I saw that my house was destroyed. All my valuables were gone. We are suffering. Government should come to our aid.” Chairman of Ikot Akpan Udo Town Council, Elder Sylvester Ubak, said the Akwa Ibom police commissioner, Umar Gwadabe, had, on Friday, May 4,
sent a letter to the village, inviting the chiefs to report at his office in Uyo, on Wednesday, May 9, 2012. He said: “Maybe the Amazaba Andoni people of Eastern Obolo LGA had expected the police commissioner to persuade us to embrace peace and accept to go back and live with them. This cannot work because it would amount to another unholy alliance.” He urged government to relocate the Amazaba Andoni people to the area known as Otunene and Ememen, stressing: “Government should also establish a boundary to make sure they no longer come close to where we live. Even though that part of the land still belongs to us, but we are ready to give it to them provided they live far away from us.”
ike many others who es caped death by the whiskers, the youth president, Comrade Abasiokon Etukudo, alleged that the Amazaba Andonis of Eastern Obolo LGA desecrated ancient traditional norms. He said: “Even with the free and compulsory education of Governor Godswill Akpabio, children in this community are not going to school. There is no electricity as transformers have been vandalized. The only health centre was destroyed, and there is no market in the community because the market was burnt by the Amazaba Andonis. The potable water provided by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has been damaged. The state government does not care about the welfare of the citizenry hence they should not force us to live together. A gang leader who was indicted by security report at that time is today a member of the Andoni Transition Committee.”
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 27
Against all odds, I found myself in power in London
—Nigerian Citizen Adedamola Aminu BY YEMISI SULEIMAN
ouncillor Adedamola Aminu, a Labour Par ty member in the UK, is the Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Young People for London Borough of Lambeth. He is also the chairman of British-Nigerian Councillors in the UK and President of Association of Nigerian Academics. A lecturer, school governor and Trustee of a charitable organisation, he sits on Joint Meeting of the Appointments, Overview and Scrutiny Committees, School Organisation Advisory Board for the London Borough of Lambeth and other outside bodies such as London Councils - Children and Young Peoples Forum, Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Greater London. He holds bachelor honour degrees in Business Studies from London Southbank University, Diploma in Marketing from Chartered Institute of Marketing, Masters Degree in Marketing from Greenwich University and Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE cantab). An encounter with him at the Lambeth Town Hall Brixton Hill London reveals his love for politics, love for his country and his passion for education… So what exactly is your job as councillor?
My job as a councillor is to work with our community, to make sure we provide varied services for them, such as housing, education, fighting crime, roads and to make sure the environment is clean. We also make sure that every thing the people need like roads are provided. I am responsible for the social service and education of children and young persons. How long have you held the position? I have been in the position since 2006, and I have been a deputy cabinet member. This is my second year as a cabinet member.
ow well would you say you have done or represented your ward, what is your achievement so far? I think we are so lucky that our borough is one of the most improved in the whole of London and all the local authorities are actually looking up to us, in terms of how we have been able to manage things, how we have done things better, the school result which is the main area I am responsible for, for the past five to six years, education in Lampard has been improving. In fact, it is above the national average, which means that we are doing something right in the schools. Most of the schools that we have now are adjudged either as good or out-
one from the black ethnic minority (BEM), it is always a barrier because some people still see you as a foreigner, so that will always be a challenge. But I think that we have been able to overcome that in our own borough because we are diversified and multicultural. And UK is also a multicultural country as well. So that helps as well.
standing by up stead, and that is the body that inspect schools to make sure they are of standard. No school is under special measure in Lambeth. So that means we have made a difference. And we have managed to reduce crime in the borough as well. We are doing everything to make sure that those people who are vulnerable in our community are given priority. The ward you represent, are they basically Nigerians? I think the ward is about 70% white and 30% mixed; AfricanCaribbean, other nationalities, so it is mixed, but majorities of them are whites. What are the challenges of the job, being an African, particularly a Nigerian? The challenge is being some-
don’t think that should be a barrier for people to put themselves forward. If people think like that I won’t be there and also some of my colleagues. Because I represent the Nigerian-British council as their chairman and we have about 37 Nigerian origin councilors at the moment. So if we think like that, that it is a barrier, and none of us put ourselves out, we won’t be there because we represent everybody. How did you get into politics and how did you become a councilor? It started when I was actually looking for a secondary school for my son really; that was many years ago, he is now in Chile. I couldn’t find good schools within our borough so I had to send him to another borough where I knew that the school is very good. I am a lecturer myself so I thought of what I could do to make a difference in the borough where I lived and that was one of the reasons I decided to go into politics. The other reason is that I have been a party member since about 1997 and most of the time when I did attend council or committee meetings, I found out that there are some people in that committee that probably don’t understand what it takes or have good knowledge of the area
where they are responsible for and these are people that make decisions that affect everybody’s life. I mean they set the council tags, how much rent the people pay, the school your children attend, so if we leave people who haven’t got the experience to be responsible for all those things on our behalf, then we are not doing ourselves any justice. If you know you have something to contribute, get involved so that you can do something about it, but if you don’t, don’t complain.
hat impact would you say this has really had on Nigerians here and generally? I think that it has helped a lot of Nigerians; personally, in my case anyway, being the chairman of Nigerian- British council, when people have issues, they don’t have to live in Lampard before I can help them. All I need to ask them is which borough do they live in. If I know we have a colleague there I will ask them to ‘go and see councilor so, so, so and tell him you are from me’ and he will attend to that person. But if it is a borough that we don’t have somebody, I can take up the case myself and just send email to wards in that area and I can say ‘this person lives in your area, this is the problem he has, can you please assist?, and they will do it. We are all colleagues and I have done it for people outside London. That way, we are able to reach a wider audience, but the problem is that our communities are not coming forward when they have problems at an early stage, so that we can solve them before they go to court, because when they go to court, there is nothing much we can do.
UPLIFTing the Needy
ince assumption of her husband as the gov ernor of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunso Amo sun has demonstrated enough capacities by showing compassion to the needy. She is of the view that a little care to the needy in any society can make a lot of difference. Thus, to her, the task of UPLIFTing the downtrodden in the society is a must. Mrs. Amosun has therefore used her position to complement and support the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration’s five-cardinal points in enriching family lives and ensuring the wellbeing of the people of Ogun State. In the last one year, she has made indelible marks, built bridges across the 20 local government areas of the state and impacted positively on the lives of the less privileged in the society, particularly women and children through her various programmes. This made her to adopt a brand name, “UPLIFTing”, to champion her utmost desire to help the needy. The word UPLIFTing can be interpreted to mean Unprosperous People for Life-saving Initiatives by First Teammate (in government). C M Y K
In her determination to encourage secondary school students writing their final examination, the First Lady initiated a programme titled: UPLIFTing SS3 Students. Students with the best results in the 2012 May/June West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE) in each of the 20 local government areas in Ogun State would have cause to smile, courtesy of an all expenses-paid reward trip sponsorship to the United Arab Emirate that the wife of the governor has put in place. Arab Emirate. The overall best student of the 20 would be further rewarded with a cash gift towards aiding him or her in the payment of the already subsidised tuition in tertiary institutions in the state. Another initiative by the Office of the Wife of the Governor is: UPLIFTing the Aged. The programme continues to give a sense of belonging to the older people in the state. The First Lady, in an elaborate ceremony at the Cultural Centre Abeokuta on January 25, 2012, brought together 50 aged people from each of the 20 local government areas totalling 1,000 with the aim of celebrating our senior citizens. Health tips
were given to the aged people, while free medical screening was also administered on them. The programme gave the older people the opportunity to interact with the governor and his wife. Sequel to this event, 100 needy aged were identified and were placed on monthly stipend. Mrs Olufunso Mrs. Amosun has also mosun taken a step further in her campaign to make life more comfortable for the less privileged. On February 27, 2012, her office, in conjunction with Tulsi Chanrai Foundation and Enpee Group, organised Free Eye Camp for more than 4,000 people from the 20 local government areas of the state with impaired sights at the General Hospital Ijebu-Ode.
PAGE 28—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
Life Is A Tragedy For Those Who Feel, And A Comedy For Those Who Think —JEAN DE LA BRUYERE
I defied religious sentiment to become Anambra gov — Ezeife z ‘I fabricated the car pin in the spare parts business’ zOn Third Term: Obasanjo dealt with me for opposing him BY BASHIR ADEFAKA Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife is a political icon and most of the things people know about him revolve around politics. He was a civilian governor of Anambra State, a presidential aspirant on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) and presidential adviser on political matters, during the Obasanjo presidency. Before his foray into politics, he was a permanent secretary in the Federal Civil Service. But the preoccupation here is to get him to speak about his life outside politics. And we succeeded largely in doing that. was not as good as the white man’s. Do you know why? Because it never got spoilt. The white man would do its own in a way that it got spoilt so that you could come and buy again. My own was Igbomade and so it was always there. At that point in time, I was enjoying life with my master and I learnt many household things, but it didn’t appear to me that it was my calling. So I said I was going back to the village to teach. And it just occurred to me and I took permission from my master to allow me go for Easter and he allowed me to go. Igboukwu is my village, which is supposedly one of the oldest towns in the world, where Noah’s Ark landed after the flood. When I reached home at Igboukwu, I was serving with a ‘major ’ and we answered military ranks. The ‘officer ’, ‘Major Opiah’ told me to go and ‘escort’ a white man who was living in Agunleri, but coming to our town. I went. On our way coming with the white man in his car, I told him that I wanted
to be a teacher and so, I wanted to go back to school. We got to Igboukwu and I had already told the ‘officer’ I was working with. So it was; I didn’t really have to go back to Aba. I was instantly given
here is no how an achiever is discussed without delving into his past. How did you start out in life? First of all, the grace of God was surplus to me. I came from a family that was well to do in terms of situation of those days having many factories and a lot of parcels of land. There was a Salvation Army School near my house and I attended that school, for my primary education and there I did well. I then went to Anglican School where I did Standard Five and Six. I took entrance examination into a secondary school, but my father was not ready to take me to secondary school. Then I went for apprenticeship, first of all in medicine (selling) and thereafter in motor spare parts at Aba. There I was successful and, as I told you, the grace of God was surplus to me that when I was about 13 years old, I fabricated something called pinion shaft. It was just like a pin; something you put in the differential in car. My own
said, “Officer, please allow me to go.” He said, “Okay, you can go. You won’t pass anyway.” I went but against his insinuation, and by the grace of God, I passed very well and then I went to teachers’ training college. It was a two years correspondence programme. So it was while at the teachers’ training college that God really was merciful to me because I sauntered into the power of God. How do you mean? I went to one teacher who was a friend of mine. I saw some papers on his table and on some of them was written
At that point in time, I was enjoying life with my master and I learnt many household things, but it didn’t appear to me that it was my calling
a teaching appointment with my Standard Six. That was 1954, 55. So, I became a public teacher and I enjoyed every bit of it. But if you had to be a teacher, you needed to go for training for two years.
here was an examination for teachers’ training college and I had to complete three years before going. I
‘Rapid Result College, London’. I asked him: “What are these things for?” He said, “Rapid Result College teaches you by correspondence to take GCE from preliminary to Advanced Level.” Then I asked what GCE was and he explained to me that GCE meant General Certificate in Education. I said how would I go about it and he said, “First, you take preliminary level, if you pass,
you get to Ordinary Level and if you pass Ordinary Level you go to Advanced Level.” Therefore, in January 1959, I took GCE qualifying test and I passed and went to Ordinary Level. In 1960 January, I took GCE Ordinary Level; you know, it was done year by year, I passed and I was very grateful to God. In 1961 January, I took GCE Advanced Level, I passed in three papers and I was walking in the air. As I told you, I sauntered into powers that I didn’t know. Now because those powers were guiding me, when I received the envelope containing the three results of the GCE Advanced Level, I went to church. I knew what was there was already there, but I just went to church and knelt down and said, “God, if what is inside here is bad, give me the courage to go back to do it again.” When I opened the envelopes, the results were fantastic and I was like a drunken man; very happy! My father and mother were happy about it.
n 19060/61, I was headmaster. Then, in regular practice in the evening, even during the night, what I did was to take my lamp, go into the bush to read my correspondence books. What that meant was that in the Christmas of 1960, I was left alone in Onitsha while my people had gone home for Christmas. That is the background of how I got to UCI, University College, Ibadan in October 1961. If you look back at the era you were doing all that, which could best be described as your formative period in life?; it was the period of independence. How did that play out in that part of your life? Well, I had no direct relationship, but I was involved in the jubilations welcoming Nigeria’s independence as a young man. So, at independence, I was in a neighbouring town and, on the night of the independence, I led a Carol, moving from place to place in the night celebrating the arrival of independent Nigeria. I was full of hope because, as a black person, we, early in life, realised as black people that Nigeria was going to teach the white people sense. And has Nigeria even been well positioned to teach the white people any sense? Well, contrary to expectation, Nigeria became
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SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 29
ow were they then able to turn the table upside down against Nigeria or do I say Africa? It was our ingenuity, our development, our books, our science that they read. And because nature was hostile to them, they were fighting the nature. Our gun powder they used to fight ..., our trigonometry, which was invented in the Nile of black. When the Nile flooded, the only way to know where the land began and ended was to use trigonometry and that they did. St. Augustine was a very celebrated academic, intellectual person. What they don’t tell you is that St. Augustine was black and they don’t tell you that many books attributed to Aristotle were taken from Alexandria after defeating Egypt. What they call democracy is the system of the Igbo. I’m Igbo and have not known anything else since I was born but selection, election: one man equal to one man. But these people claim that they brought democracy to us but the political and social theories that were credited to the Greeks were taken from Africa. There is a book called, “The Stolen Legacy.” It is a black writing about how the West took over our knowledge and refined it in their own way. You know in this country of ours, Nigeria, you can stay outside for 365 days in the year and not die. So our environment is good to us. You can go to the bush round the year and pluck fruits and eat, it’s just a matter of different types of fruits throughout the year and they are available. So we were pampered by nature and that has its own consequence. As for the white, they were at war with nature using African technology to fight nature. But, eventually, when you are fighting and advancing, you would overtake even the people from whom you took all those things. This has always lived in me. My politics is motivated by my blackness and the fact that we should be doing what nature dictated to us as rallying point, big brother, to all blacks in the world. We can no longer say we are too
Life Is A Tragedy For Those Who Feel, And A Comedy For Those Who Think —JEAN DE LA BRUYERE
from the patriotic, nationalistic point of view, I support dialogue with Boko Haram. But let me tell you from Shehu Sani’s interview, it is clear that the principal compelling force of Boko Haram is Islamisation of Nigeria, which is impossible. How do you bargain with a group that has Islamisation as its principal agenda? But notwithstanding the reservation that anybody may have, I am persuading the entire Nigerians to join the train in dialoguing with them. When Prophet Muhammed came to Madinah and had founded Islam and wanted to move back to Maccah, he met with military resistance; forceful resistance! Therefore, in order to go back to Maccah, he had to fight and that is where it is allowed to give in the cause of Allah to fight. Because Muhammed was so comprehensive and so good that he made it clear to them that the religion cannot be forced on people and that you cannot force people to be converted. And that you can fight until religion is freely practised and that the moment you are allowed to practise your religion and nobody is, with force or arms, resisting your practice of the religion, you don’t have a right to carry gun to fight again.
‘I fabricated the car pin in the spare parts business’ T comfortable. You can see white people enjoying air condition and we are saying that we are now the frontiers of technology. Yes, the white man went to the moon but the black man built the programme that took the white man to the moon. We are the frontiers of technology everywhere find the black people. In what way have you as a person made effort in actualising or helping to restore the lost glory of the black person? When I wanted to become the president of Nigeria, there were so many things I wanted to do to build the country. Even when I became governor, it was just a month and people thought I had performed magic in Anambra State. And the Kano man would say, “Ah that ayenmere has done it in Anambra, let him do it for Nigeria.” And I really know that change was not always in the interest of every being. Where I come from, change is always thought of, but change is not always in the interest of everybody in Nigeria.
ou were the last governor of old Anambra with Enugu as capital city and first governor of new Anambra the capital now in Awka. How did you feel when the state was split, and how did you emerge as governor in the
first place, during the transition period of General Ibrahim Babangida military regime? The moment Enugu became a state I was very worried because, in the old Anambra, the part I come from, is much denominationally conscious. They would ask what church are you? I’m a Salvation Army and not up to one percent of people of the place was Salvation Army. But as it happened, things worked out
Continued from page 28 a .... for black people instead of teaching the white people sense. In the long, long past, the wise saying was that “Out of Africa comes everything new and good.” So Africa was on top. I remember, in the world of ancient, it was the Egyptians who were more on top; like me and you. Then the rest of us in the median and at the bottom were the blue-eyed barbarians, which were the white people by then. At the ancient of days they were at the bottom of the whole of development.
you?” He said tea. I got him tea and, as that was going on, I called his name and I said, “You are not going to die and I will be governor and you will come to lunch in my governor’s lodge.” The man said to me, “Everybody knows that you are the best but everybody knows also that Anambra votes by religious denomination. You are Salvation Army; who will vote for you?” I said, “All the Angels in heaven will come
Even when I became governor, it was just a month and people thought I had performed magic in Anambra State
very well and that was another show of power of God. Somebody called in the two and said we should sign an agreement that whoever was brought out from amongst us to run for governor, they would support. I was the person that was brought out and then the same person who initiated that brilliant truce said I would become governor over his dead body. He said so. And then I met him later on, at Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos and said to him, “Come, come, come! Let’s go to the restaurant. What do I offer
down, they will vote and protect my votes.” That was the kind of manifestation of God’s power in how I became governor of Anambra State.
hat do you make of the current Boko Haram menace: I mean do you belong to the group that says government should dialogue with them? That question you have asked is a very difficult question. But because I’m a nationalist, anything to bring peace is welcome. Therefore,
here can be no jihad where there is no military resistance against the practice of your religion. So, this is the scripture of Qur’an. We have no (sharp) difference between the Bible and the Qur’an. You were said to have quit politics. How true? Partisan politics. After I celebrated my 70th birthday some years ago, I decided to quit partisan politics. I play more politics now than before, but I play non-partisan politics: statesmanship type of politics that I do. I don’t take sides on issues; I look at them objectively because I want my conscience set me free in the path that I choose and I follow it. Some people say I have quit politics, but nobody quits politics. We are all born into it and we will play it continuously. But party politics, I really believe there is certain stage for one to leave party politics. I heard a report today (Wednesday April 4, 2012) that Obasanjo has resigned as chairman Board of Trustees of PDP. I praised him for that, although I don’t know the motive. But if the motive is arising from the feeling that “I have done enough and there are other people who can do this thing and so let me take my leave”, then I praise him. And I have always praised him for many things he did despite that he did some things and spoilt them by himself. Because much of the foundations he laid for Nigeria was spoilt by his politics of third term.
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C M Y K
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 31
C M Y K
PAGE 32—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 27, 2012
When airline brands fly too low F
appreciation. They carry on in similar manner with artisans. I can put hazard a hypothesis to say that 80 to 85% of human resource within the air travel industry see taking air passengers across destinations as the beginning and end of their business. Little wonder they are not known to expressly engage in other related service offerings such as hotels, entertainment, tourism and even industry personnel training. So, all that concerns the ground staff is to painstakingly load-in passengers’ luggage (even without the passenger – if e like make e miss im flight, n aim sabi), hurriedly close the manifest and manage to wait for the Pilot to just go with his/her ‘cargo’.
ROM my experience with the service delivery quality, brand support and management efforts and car, anyway, the air travel brands need to learn so much about brands management. To mention in a hurry, the first and most important lesson they need to internalize is the fact that customer experience is the single most effective contact between any brand and its target market. Put in another way, consumer experience remains the most efficient and effective way to sell any brand. Unfortunately, this all-important formula is most often taken for granted. Plenty has been said about our local airline industry with special mention of their quality of service delivery, customer service, competitiveness and all such marketing indices, over the years, but more and more it all seems the downward decline is ordained, perhaps by some divine powers. The other very important lesson players in this sector need to know is that the market place is so dynamic, it is near impossible to safely make long term permutation – no matter the near exact nature of market research. Otherwise, our local stock market would not have taken even those who prided themselves expert stock market traders, investment managers and asset management experts as furiously and as sudden as it did (though some of us lesser mortals did warn from our uncelebrated corners that the doom was sure to come). Even in the so-called developed economies, permutations and strategic plans are being upturned almost quarterly. Put clearly, no market condition is eternal or endures forever. The cliché goes thus “change is constant”. It may tarry for a long while. Otherwise, the LEHMAN BROTHERS would still have been alive and well today. World leading news magazine brands did not see the threat posed by digital media and social media platforms coming, until the new trend in news consumption, news source re-evaluation, appreciation and market engagement happened on them. In our local market environment, who anticipated the changes that happened on the banks and financial intuitions market before Sanusi’s tsunami came sweeping? So, change at the market place, is also constant. It could be understood, how far away air travel operators are from this truism, on the basis of their small mindedness towards the critical but seemingly small issues of brand personality
operators do not demonstrate enough reasons for one to think they receive training on courteous behavior, customer relationship management, brand representation and selling. A few tips on brand management at this point will do.
BRAND IS NAMED VALUE-OFFER. Talking about differentiation, it goes beyond mere identity. It is about expressing an identity that tells a story and makes a promise, unique, different and primarily identified with the given brand. We should begin to look at the name element in branding as a mere identification for the purpose of identification (though that is the primary reason, ordi-
The crux of the matter is that the most staff personnel of our local airline operators do not demonstrate enough reasons for one to think they receive training on courteous behavior, customer relationship management, brand representation and selling
he ticketing officers are something else. I was badly molested by one ticketing officer in one of the airlines in Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, two weeks back, just because I disturbed her by asking her the airline’s flight schedule for that day. God! She took her time to waste my time, under mind my presence, provoked me to anger by all sorts of girlish mannerisms, before asking me Oga any problem? Hmm! I ill rather that I skip more details of the sad encounter at this point. But the crux of the matter is that the most staff personnel of our local airline
narily). So, the import and essence of their different names of two-same market brands should not just be about their distinct manifest identity, but greatly involving of psychological import of their different personalities, desired image, outreach and character. Following from the above, there from, in a situation where competing brands are not readily distinctively identifiable along the lines of differentiation, following from their individual names in an industry operating in an environment of free and competitive market, there are bad marketing, compromised branding and disrespect for
hat is exactly what happens in the airline travel market. None of our local airline industry players post sign of appreciation of the basic elements of customer-focused brand ownership and management. That explains why Arik Air will not bother to announce altered flight schedule, Aero will just wake up to say passengers lucky to fly with them should be ready to buy even water airborne or remain quiet – in a socio-cultural environment built on good neighborliness, friendliness and hospitality. That is the most daring and damning move I have ever seen any brand taken in developing economy. It is unimaginable the difficulty Arik Air passengers pass through to buy flight ticket; the unfortunate prospective passengers will take position in a long and confused queue obstructed by touts, for so very long. At the head of the queue he/she meets with unfriendly two tired people (one the bank rep who collects monies or pay-ins without care what happens after and then-after the ticket issuer who sometimes behave as if the payment teller written right beside her or him is questionable, reluctant to write out the ticket. Because of the inappropriate conduct on the part
of these staff and touts, it takes so long to finish with one customer, that one can on that same queue and miss a planned flight if the ticket is for same-day travel. I think it is partly in providing for such wastages that so much emphasis is given to day-before ticket purchase. We cannot exhaust the anomalies bothering on poor customer service put up by these airlines, in one edition, but we must establish the fact that the market is taking note. Perhaps the required initial investment and cost of operations is checking the speed possibility of new market entrants, but see what Air Nigeria is already doing to those who up till only a month ago assumed the position of the almighty. Change will definitely come the way of this aviation/air travel market.
ELIABILITY. There is o way any brand will toy with the character element of reliability, if survival at the market place is the marketing objective. Reliability as an expression of responsibility and commitment to customer satisfaction for any brand’s own interest, is sacrosanct. n
To be continued next week
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 33
Our vision at Little Saints was for just 25 children (1)â€”Rev. Dele George By SAM EYOBOKA
AFTER some years in the banking industry, Reverend Christina Bamidele George (nee Ogbemudia) resigned in 1985 and went into business with her husband. In 1990, she became born again and almost immediately felt a leading to a unique mission to dedicate her life to the cause of saving abused, abandoned and orphaned children in the society. Rev. (Mrs.) George founded Strong Tower Mission which is the parent body of Little Saints Orphanage, which became the first licensed orphanage in Lagos State, and since its inception it has rehabilitated hundreds of children, including babies. The orphanage, which was founded in June 1994, has also provided new families for some of the children via adoption and reconciled some of the children with their original families. The Little Saints Orphanage now has branches in Akowonjo area of Lagos which is for boys, Abule Egba for younger girls and children with special needs and the Ogudu branch which is for grown up girls, who are in higher institutions. It is a special house for them so that they will be able to focus on their studies. The orphanage has a documentary, Cry for Mercy, which chronicles the heart rending stories of different abandoned children and how they were rescued sometimes in very delicate conditions. After a visit by a delegation from Pastor Eskor Mfon Foundation to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Pastor Mfon to the orphanage a day after the April 29, 2012 Joy Night programme, our reporter had a chat with the founder/president of Strong Tower Mission, proprietors of Little Saints Orphanage. Excerpts
that were brought to the home have all been adopted and they are doing well in their various families. Some of them are abroad. In short it has been a long journey, but itâ€™s been fruitful. How do you ensure that these children are properly brought up by those who adopt them? The Ministry of Youths and Social Development are very strict and they carry out independent inquiry concerning the family wishing to adopt before approving adoption. They have very strict conditions and without meeting the conditions, you cannot adopt a baby. One of such conditions is that such family must have a good accommodation that is conducive, and where the child would be shielded from
How do you ensure that items donated to the orphanage get to the children? HEY definitely get to them. We have over 100 children in three branches with administrators and assistant administrators who ensure that everything donated is used by the children. As the founder I make sure that I monitor what goes on. We are all very accountable; we are missionaries who are called for this particular work. We are care givers. When you look at our children, you can see that they lack nothing. They all look well and attend good schools. I can tell you that we are very accountable and all the items, even above what is donated, get to the children. I am a donor to the orphanage and from the documentary you could see that my husband donated one of the houses that they occupy. What has been the greatest challenge so far? The greatest challenge remains the fact that we never expected to have so many children. Our vision was to have just 25 kids that we can look after. It was a personal vow that my husband and I made with God that we are going to look after 25 children in our lifetime, but we found out that the issue of abandonment was a very serious problem in Nigeria especially in Lagos. So, instead of 25 children, we had over 60 children within a year and that was what inspired us to collaborate with the Social Welfare of Lagos State to encourage Nigerians to adopt children. Adoption took off, and I can assure you that the first set of children
Rev.Dele George...Fostering is more like being a guardian or a custodian over that child on behalf of government affair is because of stigmatization. But Lagos State government is trying to encourage adopters to do open adoption, because it has to start from some-
The reason why adoption is a closed affair is because of stigmatization. But Lagos State government is trying to encourage adopters to do open adoption, because it has to start from somewhere
child abuse, kidnapping and such social vices. They have good conditions aimed at protecting the child. Adoption is still done in a very secretive manner in the country, obviously because of stigmatization. Is there anything the government is doing to make adoption an open affair? The reason why adoption is a closed
where. If it is made open and people see how adopters take care of such children, I think eventually adoption will be seen as an admirable thing rather than something that will lead to stigmatization. It is a process and I believe that we will get there. You also talked about fostering a child. What do you mean by foster-
ing? Right now, Nigerians are only interested in adoption because adoption is a permanent thing; permanent in the sense that the child can not be taken away from them; he or she remains their child permanently as a blood child. On the other hand, fostering is more like being a guardian or a custodian over that child on behalf of government. That means that a child that is fostered could have parents who are interested in his development but might not have the wherewithal to take care of the child. What we are saying now, is that Nigerians should come out to foster children even when their biological parents are still alive, so that such children can have access to good home, education and good things of life as long as the foster parents can afford it. Like me, for instance, there are lots of children that are with me, who have grown up in the orphanage; they are not my biological children but I am their spiritual mother while my husband is their spiritual father. We are like guardians over them. We are there for them as parents.
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VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
‘Monetary policy remains the greatest threat to stock market recovery’ So, the greatest threat to continued equity market recovery is the monetary policy directions of the Central Bank. Of course, there are other threats including the fiscal policy disposition of the federal government. If the Federal government fiscal stance is expansionary, this will trigger an inflationary pressure, which may compel the monetary authorities to respond with a contractionary
House of Representatives AdHoc Committee probe of the near collapse of the Capital Market has turned out to be intriguing and quite revealing. Blames and counter blames have continued to pour in as the probe panel got more than it bargained for but even appears more determined to unravel the mystery behind the crash of the Nigerian Stock Market. So far, some of the findings of the panel revealed that the unhealthy practices of some of the banks in the country were largely responsible for the problems in the market as they manipulated their share prices using depositors’ money. Mr. John Chukwu, the managing director/founder, Cowry Asset Management Limited, is a leading investment banker and a multi-dealing operator in the capital market. In this interview, he speaks on how sound government policies can revive the dwindling sector and unlock Nigeria’s economy potentials. Excerpts: How would rate the state of Nigeria’s stock marke? HE past four weeks or thereabout has actually witnessed some level of recovery in the market. The market at some point appreciated by 9. 4 percent year-to-date. That was a significant improvement to what we have seen so far . So, I would say the market is on the recovery path particularly because some of the fundamentals have actually changed positively as to drive a market recovery. One of these factors is the kind of return that companies are reporting . We have seen that the banks are leaving their industry crisis behind them. We have seen a lot of credible results by the banks. If you look at the 2011 Financials of the banks, despite the heir cut suffered by most of them from their sale of non-performing loans to AMCON, many of the banks reported significant improvements in earnings and profitability. Aside from that, their first quarter results have showed that the banks are on recovery trajectory . So, if the earnings of the companies on the exchange are improving, their market prices would also improve. Beyond that, we have also seen high dividend yield, in some instances as high as 17 percent. These yields are comparable or even better than what obtains in the money market . So there is enough incentives for investors to come back to the market and that’s why the market has been on the recovery path. So I think one can safely say that the past one or two months have witnessed some level of market recovery and that the Nigerian equity market is on
Mr. John Chukwu the verge of coming back . What measures do you think the market regulators and operators should adopt in other to sustain the little success recorded so far? On the part of the regulators, I think among the things they need to do is to make sure that the integrity of public accounts are maintained and time limits for rendition of reports are adhered to . Right now the NSE is insisting that quoted companies must adopt International Financial Reporting Standard . It’s adoption would lead to an improvement in the level of regulatory compliance as well as transparency of financial statements. On the part of listed companies, it would lead to higher level of management integrity and efficiency. As for market operators, they have a duty to bring opportunities in the market to the knowledge of investors. For instance, if you look at the investor that took position in Okomu Oil, their brokers must have brought the prospects of the stock to their knowledge because Okomu Oil was actually outside the radar of most investors . So, the market operators really have a major part to play by creating the necessary awareness particularly to their clients (investors) on market opportunities that have strong probability of crystallizing such as projections of strong dividend yields. If such projections are realized consistently, investors would naturally want to come back for more opportunities. What do you consider as a threat to the much expected bounce back and growth of the market ? The biggest threat we have in the market is the monetary policy direction of the government. If the authorities decide to drive a restrictive monetary policy so as to keep inflation down, this would lead to increase in the interest rates. If interest rates continue to go up, fixed income instrument would become more attractive to investors. Conversely, if interest rates go down, investors would see equity market as of better attraction than the fixed income market.
BY AKOMA CHINWEOKE
would now prefer to put their money in necessity supplies. Those are some of the domestic threats although there are other threats from the external environment. For instance if the crisis in Europe snowballed to other parts of the world. It could lead to a drop in commodity prices which would put our foreign exchange earnings and reserves at risk. If our foreign exchange reserve is eroded, foreign fund
Regulators and the government should create enough incentives to encourage listing on the floor by the telecoms companies, oil and gas firms as well as other multinationals operating in the country
monetary fiscal policy. Another factor that may affect the market negatively is the removal of the remaining fuel subsidy. Should the government adjust upwards the pump price of petrol, the implication would be that the discretionary income of the investors would be drastically reduced as basic necessities would take up a greater share of their income leaving out little for investment. So, if the government does increase the fuel subsidy it would erode the capacity of retail investors to come back to the market because such retail investors
managers who currently account for more than 70 percentage of the market activities would want to wind down their portfolios because they would not be so sure that Nigeria would be able to provide the exchange resources that would enable them convert the proceeds of the investment into foreign currency. There will also be heightened risk of devaluation of the Naira, which will erode the value of the proceeds of their investments. That brings us to the call that major oil firms and telecoms industry should be compelled
to list on the Exchange. What incentives do think you would help to lure them in to revive the ailing stock market? My position is that the regulators and the government should create enough incentives to encourage listing on the floor by the telecoms companies, oil and gas firms as well as other multinationals operating in the country. We should ask ourselves what do we need to do to lure the Telecoms majors and Oil & Gas majors to come to the market. Among the things I have always advocated is the use of fiscal instruments such as tax incentives to attract these companies to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. For instance, the government can offer lower corporate tax rate to publicly quoted companies – instead of a tax rate of 30 percent, government can grant quoted companies concessionary tax rate of anything between 15 and 25 percent. If this is done, shareholders on unquoted companies will compel them to seek listing. The government can also consider exempting dividends of quoted companies from tax. This will encourage more people to invest in the secondary market as the effective dividend yield of quoted companies would be higher than those of non quoted companies (though they may be paying the same amount of cash dividend and have the same market value). I believe that if you waive tax on dividend and have a differential corporate tax rate for quoted companies, the telecoms companies, the Oil & Gas companies and other multinationals will have compelling reasons to list on the Exchange.
From left; The Zonal Coordinator Unity Bank Plc Aim & Win Promo, Mrs. Yemi Adeyinka, the Regional Manager, Victoria Island, Mr. Umar Adabara and the Executive Director, Lagos & West, Mr. Lanre Fagbohun during the 1st zonal draw of the bank's Aim, Save & Win promo held at Ikeja Office Allen, Lagos.
Investments in Apapa terminal hit $330million BY UDEME CLEMENT
HE volume of investments in Apapa terminal, which is said to be the largest container terminal in subSaharan Africa, is estimated at about $330million. The APM Terminals chief executive officer, Kim Fejfer, made this disclosure during a working visit to Nigeria, explaining that his company had invested N31 billion ($200
million) in upgrading and modernising the Apapa Container Terminal in the last six years, with N20 billion ($130 million) additional investment over the next three years. He said, “The largest container terminal in sub-Saharan Africa, the Apapa Container Terminal, operated by APM Terminals can now measure with the best container terminal in Europe . Now we see a modern container terminal performing at par with the best in Europe and this has important impact on trade in and
out of Nigeria”. Fejfer disclosed that he was in Nigeria to thank the leading global terminal operators’ customers, partners, government authorities, management and employees for their cooperation. APM Terminals Apapa Limited took over operation of the Apapa Container Terminal in March 2006 after emerging the preferred bidder in a keenly contested bidding process under the Nigerian government’s port concession programme.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 35
ECOWAS needs financial data —Prof. Ekpo ‘Adoption of IFRS ends by 2015’
BY UDEME CLEMENT
Prof. Akpan Ekpo
HE countries within ECOWAS sub-region have been advised to fast track migration into the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which are globally acceptable systems with specifications and framework developed by International Accounting Standards Board (ISAB), an independent accounting standards development body. The Director General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Prof. Akpan Ekpo, gave this advice, while delivering his keynote address, at the opening ceremony of the regional course on IFRS, organised by WAIFEM in Lagos. “IFRS technique would enable businesses to follow globally acceptable standards to facilitate national business operations and impart transparency in financial data disclosure. One of the destabilising factors of the global financial crisis was the procyclical amplification of financial shocks and banking system, financial markets and the broader economy. There was widespread criticism that the accounting standards and in particular fair value accounting significantly contributed to the financial crisis in view of its failure to deal with illiquid markets and distressed sales”, Ekpo said. He continued, “Banks must upgrade their infrastructure, including Information Technology and human resources to face the complexities and challenges of the IFRS. A key aspect of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) project is the harmonisation of standards, processes and procedures of the operational modalities of the member countries to ensure smooth establishment of the second monetary zone by 2015. Adoption of IFRS by WAMZ member countries will not only reaffirm its leadership role in the integration process, but will ensure a seamless harmonisation of accounting practices among countries in the zone. It is imperative for African countries to be integrated into the global financial system and at the
extreme not considered to be a failed state, policy makers must endeavour to have a pass mark for our countries by setting higher standards of transparency, accountability and probity in the use of public resources, by converging to global accounting standards. Over 100 countries mainly in the European Union have adopted IFRS. In the subregion, the adoption of IFRS was launched in 2007, while Nigeria commenced the gradual adoption of IFRS in
January 2012. Worldwide adoption of IFRS is expected to be completed by 2015. “The benefits IFRS include forming basis for comparability between enterprises operating in different jurisdictions and constitute a search light that international investors will use to make investments decisions in different countries. It promotes transparency and engenders greater financial credibility. This reduces cost of raising foreign capital and cost of compliance to a single
standard for financial reporting purposes for enterprises operating across several countries. Globalisation has necessitated the need to have a universal accounting standards applicable to all jurisdictions, as such standards will engender harmonisaton of accounting practices globally. This will allow evaluation of performance, adherence to best practices and comparison among similar players. “Given the fact that the
economies in our sub-region are linked to the rest of the world, it is crucial that global accounting standards such as IFRS form the basis for financial management practices within the region. It is against this backdrop and considering the amount of work involved in the convergence process, that capacity building and skill development on the successful implementation of IFRS provisions becomes imperative”.
Making the agric policy work BY JOHN CHRISTOPHER
HE need for the diversification of the Nigerian economy is fast becoming a vital issue due to the deepening challenges of hunger and poverty. For several years, the economy had gone monoproduct following the dependence on oil accounting for 90 percent of the nation’s revenue. The agricultural sector employs an appreciable percentage of the populace in all its sub-sectors without much to tell on the dividends that the farmers get. This is because sector has not received adequate support in terms of policy formulation and implementation. The agricultural policy that was adopted in 2001 is a true statement of purpose by the government. This was primarily an effort towards repositioning the once viable sector, a redirection that, if well- driven, remains a principal tool in minimizing the level of poverty and starvation in the country. The policy, which retains most of the features of the agricultural policy of 1988, tends to be more articulating considering the new challenges being faced by farmers and marketers of agricultural produce and the strategic plans to solving them. The major goal of the current policy is to attain selfsufficiency in basic food supply and ensure food security in Nigeria. Others goals include increased production of agricultural raw materials for industries, improved production and processing of export crops like cocoa, cassava, palm produce, ginger, rubber, etc through the use of technology. There are also goals like generating employment opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming population, practical and rational usage of agricultural resources, enhanced protection of agricultural land against
drought, soil erosion, desert encroachment, soil erosion and flood in order to maintain a good agricultural produce while preserving the natural environment amongst others. Redirecting the sector will not only make Nigerians to have a sustainable means of generating employment on a larger scale but also contribute meaningfully to the national income and provide opportunity for the long awaited private investors to come in: since it (the policy) embodies the provision of a conducive environment for all. The policy also contains the goal of articulating and improving integrated rural
development programs in order to raise the standard of living of the rural dwellers. However, a simple but effective storage facilities and agro-processing technology will definitely add value to farm commodities and increase their shelf life. Furthermore, the strategic grain reserve scheme, if modernized and properly implemented, will strengthen the national food reserve program to better handle all staple and essential food products. Hence, selfsufficiency and improvement in the level of technical and economic efficiency at home will be ensured. Meanwhile, we should
encourage ecological specialization and recognition of the role and potentials of small scale farmers as the major producers of food in the country. This has the capacity to attract our teeming unemployed youths to agriculture. Finally, a strategic agricultural credit loan will aid farmers, raise the standard of farm yields, reduce importation of agricultural commodities and guarantee a steady economic growth while ensuring food security and reducing health and environmental hazards. *Christopher is of Federal Polytechnic, Bida.
Career summit: Ships & Ports partners Benue Govt BY UDEME CLEMENT
HIPS & Ports Communication Company Limited has announced plans to host the seventh in the series of its Annual Shipping Career Summit in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. Tagged Makurdi 2012, the one-day event will hold in partnership with the Benue State Government on Thursday, July 12 at the Benue Hotel, Makurdi. Coordinator of the annual event, Ms. Eucharia Okoli, said the Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, as Chief Host, will declare the summit open while the Registrar of the Council of the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Sir Mike Jukwe, will be the Special Guest. “The Annual Shipping Career Summit is a programme developed by Ships & Ports to help Nigerians tap into career and investment opportunities in the nation’s vast maritime sector. As Nigeria moves to diversify its revenue source from being solely dependent on oil and gas, there is the need to harness all available opportunities in all sectors of the economy particularly the maritime sector to realise this
dream. Analysts over the years pointed out that revenue from the maritime industry can surpass the current revenue that accrues to government from oil and gas, if the industry is fully galvanised. It is towards this end that we organise the Annual Shipping Career Summit”, Okoli said. She went on,“With an estimated 300 participants particularly youths, expected to attend the forthcoming summit, professionals in various fields in the maritime sector will be present to share their experiences and provide mentorship to participants.Career and
investment opportunities to be discussed at this year ’s summit include: Engineering Career at Sea: Developing a rewarding Seafaring Career; Building a Successful Career in Maritime Law and How to Become an Effective Importer/ Exporter. “The sector is endowed with enormous natural resources, which provide great potentials and opportunities necessary to achieve sustainable growth and development. The country is equally blessed with a vast coastline of about 850 kilometres and an Exclusive Zone of well over 300,000 square kilometres”.
L-R: Dr. Stella Okoli, OON, (Founder) makes a point at a bress briefing organized by the Chike Okoli foundation. She is flanked left and right by board members Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa and Chief Taiwo Taiwo.
PAGE 36—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
areas of animal husbandry, fish and grasscutter farming, snailery, beekeeping. All these are very good businesses with available markets, especially if you are very good in raising snails and grasscutters. Though these may have nothing to do with what the corps members read in their various schools, surely they are alternative means of livelihood. The safety of corps members has become a big issue, especially in some parts of the country. How are you managing the posting to such areas? We have introduced some elements of martial arts training in our orientation programme, targeted primarily at our female corps members. Prior to my coming on board, we had issues of female corps members being molested by okada riders, some by the traditional rulers. The thinking is that if these young ladies have some forms of selfdefence training, they would be able to say no in more ways than one. The main aim is to give these young ladies a fighting chance so that they would be able to defend themselves before the deed is done. They will probably not be helpless victims, but able to fight for themselves rather than crying for help.
BY Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
rig-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia is indeed an army officer who says it the way he sees it. When he spoke with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, he was blunt on the contentious issue of posting corps members to volatile areas where several of them were killed by insurgents last year. According to him, female corps members now receive marshal arts training and members will no longer be posted to areas where their lives could be threatened. Excerpts: After 38 years, what is the relevance of the NYSC to Nigeria? Thirty-eight years is long enough to pursue the agenda of unity. I joined the service 31 years ago and when I was appointed as the DG of NYSC, I discovered that the NYSC was still running the same programmes that were in place when I was a corps member and I asked why we have not been sticking to the goal of fostering unity. There was the need for a paradigm shift to reposition the NYSC to attain modern day realities. One area that we view as very important is the posting of corps members. People think that corps members should be posted to every available place where they need the services of cheap and subsidized labour, but this is not correct. If NYSC was established to foster national unity, then corps members should be able to render service to the nation first, before service to self and private organisations or individuals. What is the current posting policy of the scheme? We have taken a critical look at corps members serving, for instance in places like banks and private organisations, and we ask ‘where does national service come into this if they are sent to banks’?. Therefore, I said it is necessary to bring back the actual concept of national service into the NYSC to build on the concept of national unity. If corps members are posted to the rural communities to render services in education, primary healthcare centres, among others, these communities will not only benefit from the core manpower, but they will begin to appreciate the need for national unity. It is not just the corps members who will be preaching national unity, but also the host communities that will receive young men and women from various other communities to render services in their domains. Through this, they will agree that national unity is something that is a worthwhile venture.
Brig-Gen. N n a m d i Okore-Affia
Corps members now posted to only where they are secure—NYSC D-G A
hen, we came up with a positive policy design to address top key areas like education, primary healthcare delivery, agriculture and infrastructure development. Our belief is that if corps members are deployed to these four key areas, they will be able to render services directed and focused on national development with the attendant effects on the population. Through this process, of course, the host communities will be better for this, because we have been to communities where education and healthcare delivery programmes survive purely on the corps members. It is rather unfortunate that some of these communities are regarded in Nigeria of today as volatile and insecure. But
We have taken a critical look at corps members serving, for instance in places like banks and private organisations, and we ask ‘where does national service come into this if they are sent to banks?’
the truth is that a lot of these communities depend solely on the corps members to run their education and primary healthcare delivery programmes. One other thing we are trying to address is the issue of unemployment. Because of the high numbers of corps members, we have three batches for the service year, that is , Batch ‘A’, Batch ‘B’ and Batch ‘C’. A lot of organizations are eagerly waiting for these corps
members to come on board as replacement for the outgoing ones. A lot of organisations did not bother to go to the labour market to employ Nigerians, and we think that if we deprive them of this cheap subsidised labour, they will be compelled to meet their manpower needs by employing Nigerians.
his is one important area we want to address under the new administration. We have commenced the implementation with the Batch ‘A’ of 2012 and so far, even with the expected opposition and resistance, we are making progress. Another area we felt is due
for review is the concept of orientation course programmes. These have been affected by manual activities and a few lectures on the culture, tradition and history of the host communities. We thought that corps members needed something extra, because government jobs are no longer there for the people to come and choose. Therefore, we felt it is necessary to introduce a skills acquisition programme for the corps members to equip them and thereafter have something to build on at the end of their service year. We all know that the labour market is already saturated and the jobs are not there. We are skilled in the
t the just-concluded orientation for Batch ‘A’ 2012, I was actually amazed at the positive response to martial art training for the female corps members. It was interesting to see some level of enthusiasm witnessed and we are building on it. Like I always tell my corps members, sometimes it is better to possess a skill and really not need it than to desperately need it and not have it. We have also taken some steps in addressing security concerns of corps members, parents and guardians, especially with the level of insecurity in some parts of the country, and building on the sad event of March or April, 2011. Also, we set up a distress call centre at the national headquarters in Abuja here. The way it is configured to work is that every corps member who is mobilized is required to provide a functional GSM number registered to him or her. When that corps member completes orientation and is deployed for primary assignment, the place of that assignment is captured and details of security agencies in that locality are all captured. If any corps member calls the centre
Continues on page 38
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 37
BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI
emarkably, though the AGF wields enormous judicial powers, yet, the CJN remains the number one judicial officer in the country. Could it then be said the AGF, Adoke, is more knowledgeable in law than the CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher and several other judicial egg-heads that met and recommended Salami’s reinstatement? Who determines when a matter is subjudice? Or could it be said that all the members of the NJC that took the decision on Salami failed to take cognizance of the pending
zPresident Goodluck Jonathan
zJustice Isa Ayo Salami
Jonathan Vs Salami:
Why Adoke chose to play “the black sheep” zSnubs plea by the CJN, NJC zReceives knocks from NBA litigations before arriving at a consensus on May 10? Statutorily, the NJC came into existence by virtue of section 153 of the Constitution. Section 158(1), states that in exercising its powers to make appointments or to exercise disciplinary control over persons, it shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other authority or person.
ollowing his uncanny role in the continued suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, penultimate week, took a swipe at the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN. Except for his advice, President Goodluck Jonathan would have acceded to the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, NJC, that the embattled PCA who was axed from office on August 18, be recalled to office. Specifically, section 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, provides that “there shall be an AttorneyGeneral of the Federation who shall be the Chief Law Officer of the Federation and a Minister of the Government of the Federation.” Section 150(2) on the other hand, stipulates that “a person shall not be qualified to hold or perform the functions of the office of the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation unless he is qualified to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for not less than ten years.” Thus, by virtue of his position, the AGF is expected to serve as a legal compass to the President on issues of national importance. However, the role he has played on the case of Salami so far, has raised doubts on the minds of judicial pundits who have began to query the propriety of allowing one person to hold the powers of both the AGF and Minister of Justice. It is argued in some legal circles that splitting the two offices would help in curbing the flagrant abuse of judicial powers by some of those that have manned the position in recent times.
this government is determined to do the right thing,” he argued However, flaying the role of the AGF in the Salami saga, the NBA which is umbrella body of legal practitioners in the country, after a conference of its National Executive Committee, NEC, held at Lokoja, Kogi State, noted that the decision was made in bad
Having taken the decision, it beats the imaginations why the AGF who is a member of the NBA, decided to play the proverbial black sheep by waving the word ‘subjudice’ as a magic wand capable of scarring away a perceived enemy of the government in power
Having taken the decision, it beats the imaginations why the AGF who is a member of the NBA, decided to play the proverbial black sheep by waving the word ‘subjudice’ as a magic wand capable of scaring away a perceived enemy of the government in power. According to Adoke, until all the pending litigations are disposed of, President Jonathan will not reinstate the suspended PCA; “no responsible government will overreach the powers of the court,
faith. In a communiqué signed by the NBA National President, Mr J.B Daudu, SAN, the legal body said: “NEC considered the recent National Judicial Council recommendation to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to recall the Hon. Justice Isa Ayo Salami back to the office of the President of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria and condemned the refusal of the president to do so on the pretext of pendency of litigation in court.
“NBA/NEC considered the decision was made in bad faith as there was pending litigation when the original decision to suspend him was taken. “NBA/NEC reiterates its decision reached at the 2011 Annual Conference of the NBA at Port Harcourt calling for the reinstatement of the PCA on the ground that the suspension was done whilst there was litigation on the correctness or otherwise of the disciplinary action of the National Judicial Council,” The NBA statement read in part. “The NBA/NEC viewed the decision as capable of eroding the confidence reposed in the judiciary by Nigerians. “NEC took another look at the disturbing image problem of the judiciary in particular and the justice sector in general with the resultant effect of public odium and ridicule and advised all stakeholders, particularly serving Attorneys-General of the Federation who arrogate to themselves the right of interpreting judicial decisions and legislation in such manner that strictly suits the government of the day, regardless of their oath of office, the truth and the lofty standards expected of occupants of such high office, and further advised such functionaries to desist from doing so, in view of the incal-
culable damage such unprofessional conduct is occasioning on the system.” Meanwhile, on May 30, a Federal High Court in Abuja struck out one of the suits the AGF hinged upon to kick against Salami’s recall bid. Justice Abdul Kafarati who dismissed the suit as grossly lacking in merit, maintained that the plaintiff, one Mr Noah Ajare, lacked the locus-standi to institute the action, saying he failed to establish the personal injury he would suffer if Salami is reinstated. Besides the issue of locus, the court held that the plaintiff rendered his suit incompetent by joining the Judicial Reform Committee that ab-initio recommended Salami’s recall, as a party to the suit, noting that it is not a legal person that could sue or be sued. Stressing that the committee was already dissolved having concluded its assignment, Justice Kafarati said the 2nd defendant, not being a creation of the law, cannot be dragged to court. “The fact that the plaintiff is a member of the NBA is not enough to confer locus on him. He has failed to show a special legal right or prove to this court that he has greater interest in the matter, over and above every other Nigerian. “Moreover, the issue of removal or reinstatement of Salami as President of the Court of Appeal can be effectively decided without the appearance of the plaintiff. Having gone through the processes before this court, it appears to me that the plaintiff does not have any work to do. The plaintiff cannot be said to have established any course of action against the defendants, the case lacks merit and it is accordingly dismissed,” the court held. The plaintiff had urged the court to invoke its powers and abort any move by President Jonathan to recall Salami on the basis of the NJC recommendation. He contended that any action taken by President Jonathan on the matter would not only amount to subjudice but equally constitute a deliberate affront on the statutory duties of the judiciary. Listed as defendants in the suit were the NJC and the Judicial Reform Committee which was constituted by the CJN with a view to resolving all the crises trailing the suspension of Justice Salami visà-vis the impasse that had existed between the PCA and the erstwhile CJN, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu. In an originating summons
Continues on page 38
PAGE 38—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
Corps members now posted to only where they are secure—NYSC D-G the call centre and tell us what is amiss if any. So far, we have not received call for any help under distress other than call for financial help.
*Brig-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia
Continued from page 36 with the registered number, every detail of that person will be displayed on the screen for its operator to relay back to any security agency within the area of primary assignment of the corps member making the distress call for prompt rescue operation. The aim of this is primarily to reduce as much as possible the reaction time between when a corps member or groups are in some forms of distress and when they get help. We are assuring the general public that as long as they are with their registered GSM number within the service areas, corps members can reach
lso in addressing the security concerns, we have intensified and increased our collaborations with the security agencies. As it is known, the National Youth Service Corps is not a security agency and that is why we need collaboration with those that are empowered to provide physical security, since we care about the security of our corps members. We have reached out to the Nigeria Police, State Security Service, SSS and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and they have been very responsive. At the last orientation, we had increased deployment of manpower from these organisations and of course, also from the Nigerian Army, all which provided security for the corps members. Thereafter, when they were deployed for their primary assignments,
we have also compiled addresses of all existing lodges where the corps members usually reside while serving and given the same to security agencies within those areas for them to know the direction of the corps members in time of need for help whenever the need arises.
et us understand one thing, Nigeria has 36 states plus one federal capital territory; by our mandate, we must post corps members to every state of the federation good or bad. However, because some areas have been described as volatile for one reason or the other, we have reduced the number of corps members posted to those states such that at the end of orientation, they are deployable within the state capitals and maybe one or two local government areas where they can be easily reached by the state coordinator, the Commissioner of Police or state director of SSS so that you don’t have them in far-flung areas where help will not get to them
but the truth is that each state is deserving of whatever number of corps members that should be sent to them. Like I said earlier, there are 36 states and the FCT that make up the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We will not deliberately send people to violence-prone areas but at least to state capitals. Would you say that the skills acquisition programme of the NYSC is actually making any difference in job creation in the country, given the large number of graduates churned out of our tertiary institutions yearly? We are building on our skills acquisition programme. We also have what we call War Against Poverty Initiative. This was derived from the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs which centre on the eradication of poverty. Corps members who partake in our skills acquisition training, and who at the end of their service year, are desirous of establishing their businesses, are given interestfree loans to start such busi-
he main requirement is to have a workable memorandum of understanding, MoU with a guarantor and the only collateral required is the certificate of national service, which will be released to the corps member at the end of completion of the loan facility. So far, about 2, 000 to 3, 000 corps members have accessed the facility. The loan ranges from N150, 000 to N250, 000 per individual for small scale enterprises. That these loans are being repaid by the first set of beneficiaries is an indication that their businesses are thriving. It is not only the corps members that are building successful businesses, but also the labour market is beginning to find answers to the large scale unemployment in the country, because for every business that succeeds, one or two members of the communities where the business is located will also gain employment from the corps members. It is our hope that for every 10 corps members, if nine succeed and each employs five local hands, it will go a long way in addressing the issue of youth unemployment in the country.
Why Adoke chose to play “the black sheep” PCA, shook the entire judiciary to its very foundation and climaxed when the PCA instituted a court action against the then CJN at the Federal High Court, saying there was a grave concern among Nigerians particularly at the Bar, concerning the integrity of the judiciary.
Continued from page 37 he filed before the court, Ajare, specifically sought a declaration that all the meetings, discussions and recommendations for the reinstatement of Salami by the President, on the recommendations of the NJC, was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void, as the matter is subjudice.
ven as he beseeched the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents or privies from implementing, discussing and or rectifying the recommendations of the NJC in respect of Justice Salami pending the hearing and determination of pending court actions so as not to create a wrong precedent. The plaintiff who identified himself as a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, maintained that he was not against the reinstatement of Salami, but wanted the due process of the law to be followed in order not to set an unhealthy precedent capable of sustaining such uncanny con-
Justice Mohammed Adoke troversies in the future. He argued that the matter was no longer personal for the original parties involved, saying it has assumed a national dimension with global attention and as such, entails that caution must be observed. The plaintiff had insisted that if there was no extant order of the court, the 1st defendant, Jonathan, may preempt the due process of the court. According to him, the faceoff between the former CJN, Justice Katsina-Alu and the
escribing the judiciary as the most sacred arm of the three arms of government, the plaintiff, contended that as the last hope of the common man, its sacredness ought to be preserved through the instrumentality of the law and due process. Those were exactly the same arguments that were canvassed by Adoke, thus, raising questions as per the real sponsor of the said litigation. Besides, another legal practitioner, Mr Wilfred Okoli, has also gone to court to seek a declaration that President Jonathan is not under any constitutional obligation to act upon the recommendation on the NJC on the issue of Salami. Joined as defendants in the suit were the NJC, the AGF,
Justice Salami himself, and President Jonathan. Other reliefs sought by the plaintiff includes a declaration that the NJC cannot deliberate on an issue which is a subject of litigation. A declaration that the 4th Defendant’s right to act or not to act upon any recommendation made to him by the 1st Defendant is uninhibited. A declaration that it is only a court of law duly created by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) that has the power to hear and determine matters between parties. A declaration that judicial powers are vested in the courts by virtue of section 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended). An injunction restraining the 4th Defendant whether by himself, agents, servants, assigns, privies, or whosoever purporting to act on his behalf from acting on the recommendation /advice given by the 1st Defendant as it relates to the reinstatement of the 2ndDefendant. As well as an injunction re-
straining the 1st Defendant whether by themselves, agents, servants, assigns, privies or whosoever purporting to act on their behalf from deliberating on issues that are subject of litigation.
e urged the court to determine whether president Goodluck is constitutionally bound to accept and act upon the advice/recommendation of the NJC in respect of any judicial officer. “Whether the 1st Defendant can deliberate on an issue which is a subject of litigation having regards to the extant provisions of section 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended)? and if the answer is NO: “Whether the deliberation and the decision reached in respect of the reinstatement of the 2nd Defendant is not ultra vires the statutory power of the 1st Defendant having regards to the extant provisions of Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended)? and if the answer is Yes: “Whether the 4th Defendant
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 39
By Edward Gabkwet (Wing Commander)
he history of air shows and expositions has been traced to Reims, France, in August 1909 when some of the then world's leading aviators met at a racetrack on the Bethany Plain outside Reims, France, to compete in the first organized international air meet. The Reims Air Meet featured many prestigious contests, including those for the best flights of distance, altitude, and speed. Lucrative cash prizes and impressive trophies enticed the competitors to set new records in nearly every category. As the first competition of its kind, the meet attracted the attention of numerous political and military leaders as well as the public. Spectators who watched the various contests experienced a wide range of emotions from sheer exuberance when their heroes won, to utter horror when their favourites crashed. The Reims Air Show almost exclusively established aerial competitions as a leading form of entertainment in the early 20th Century while at the same time setting precedence for all future air shows. The organisers of the Reims Air Show faced the challenge of converting the region's grape fields into a place that could accommodate the expected crowd, not to mention
Significance of Air Expo 2012
Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko
the pilots and their airplanes. To meet the challenge, they built special grandstands, a restaurant, a barbershop, and even press facilities. Overall, the entire Reims meet was a huge success and helped establish air shows as a major spectator sport.
istorically, spectators have attended air shows and expos for many reasons. Apart from being highly entertaining, people enjoy watching pilots fly variety of stunts. Others have found themselves drawn to air shows due to the sheer speed
of aircraft. Patriotism and national pride have also helped draw people to air expos, while others have enjoyed cheering their own country's pilots and air forces. Some air shows are held as a business venture or as a trade event where aircraft, avionics and other services are promoted to potential customers.
he Farnborough Air Show held biennially in the United Kingdom is a good example of such shows where multi-million dollar deals are struck on yearly basis. Other air shows are held in support of local, national or military charities. Some military establishments often organise air shows at military airfields as a public relations exercise to thank the local community, promote military careers and raise the profile of the military.
The applicant who says she is not jobless BY TAYE OBATERU & GRATEFUL DAKAT
o many young Nigerians, the end of the compulsory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) comes with fear of the unknown. With the high unemployment rate in the country and the employment opportunities getting fewer, many of those rounding off their service year cannot but be anxious of what the future holds. But for Olaseni Adewole, who recently concluded her youth service in Plateau State, while she desires to pick up a job as soon as possible, she is not jobless. According to her, she has from her student days taken entrepreneurship seriously
and had therefore learnt to engage in money-yielding ventures to make ends meet. While in school at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos where she studied Business Administration, 'Seni as she is fondly called, got the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from her department because of her exploits in business. "Back in school, I was well known for making snacks so people would call me and make their bookings. I made deliveries to fast food shops, students and lecturers while in school", she told Sunday Vanguard. All through her service year in Jos, she also made extra money through cake baking and production of snacks despite her busy schedule in the bank where
Olaseni Adewole she did her primary assignment. According to her, "it was not difficult combining the bank job and my business because most of the big events are usually during the weekends. I hate idleness and God has always given me the strength to carry on, so as I work, I carry my business along. It is just like people working and at the same time managing a cafe, boutique or even a super market. "What I do is to
For instance, the Royal International Air Tattoo which is held annually each July at Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford, Gloucestershire United Kingdom, and touted as the world's largest military air show, is staged to support the RAF Charity Trust, a charity set up in 2005 to support the wider RAF family as well as develop a spirit of air mindedness of youngsters. The show also aims at promoting excellence within the RAF. For the Nigerian Air Force, the maiden edition of its air expo tagged, ‘NAF Air Expo’ was held in 2010 at NAF Base Kaduna to herald NAF’s revival and provide a stage for the NAF to showcase its latest hardware. The first of its kind on the shores of Nigeria and indeed the West African sub-region, the Expo also afforded both foreign and local vendors the opportunity to showcase their products and
plan my schedule well so that my business does not clash with my other commitments. For instance, how I coped during the service year was that after my CD (community development) meetings on Thursdays, I use the remaining hours of the day to make my cakes and snacks which in most cases were booked in advance by colleagues and other customers. On Fridays, I would wake up early to deliver them before going to the office. I will continue with my business while still searching for a job." On what her driving force is, 'Seni said being an orphan was no excuse for not struggling to achieve her dreams and contributing her quota to making society better. She believes that such disadvantages should rather serve as a springboard and motivation to attain heights and become a star. In line with her dream, 'Seni who had lived all her life in Lagos said she has fallen in love with Jos and was planning to set up a catering business in the city. "I have seen the potentials for
services to the general public. It is on record that over 10 foreign aviation-related companies like Aermacchi, Augusta Westland, Alenia Aeronautical and Selex Galileo all from Italy graced the threeday event to display their products to interested buyers. Pilotus of Switzerland, CATIC of China and some other local companies like El-Jahab and MENDS Aviation Medical Company were also in attendance.
he second edition of the Air Expo was held from 15-19 May, 2012 at the same venue. This year ’s event, which coincided with the 48th Anniversary of the NAF, was a crowd thriller. Considering the preparations that were put in place, the second edition of the Air Expo was a clear indication of the metamorphic transformation of an economic resurgent West Africa in general and the Nigerian nation in particular. Besides, with over a triple increment in the number of participating companies, the Air Expo is moving towards becoming the fastest growing Air Show in Africa bringing together players in the global aerospace industry irrespective of their sizes. Even more important is the
Gabkwet sent this piece from Abuja
growth here. Plateau State is economically viable for starters and even established entrepreneurs", she said. As Vice-President of the Federal Road Safety Corps CD Group which mounted a sign post stressing the importance of using seat belt at a strategic part of the state capital, 'Seni said she found the opportunity satisfying because it tallied with her passion of seeking avenues to serve humanity.
he explained that the idea of mounting sign posts to warn motorists was initially her personal project but she gave it up for the group as a team player. As a parting shot she has this advice for incoming youth corps members: "if you are posted to a 'desert' please make it a fertile land; live a life worthy of emulation, be dedicated and loyal, give yourself to the service of humanity, and always remember that a good name is better than many riches." Ex-youth corps member, Olaseni Adewole
PAGE 40—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
Game over for Ondo Rep?
BY DUROJAIYE ALFRED
he Labour Party member representing Akure South/ Akure North in the House of Representatives, Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde, was sacked by a Federal High Court sitting in Akure on Wednesday for defecting to another party. Is this a journey to political o b l i v i o n ? The decision by Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde, who was elected to represent the people of Akure North/Akure South
F e d e r a l Constituency at the National Assembly on the platform of the Labour Party, to dump the party and join the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was not strange to keen watchers of political developments in the state going by the antecedents of the federal lawmaker. Abegunde, a twoterm member of the House, was first elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003, shortly after he relocated to the country from the United States (US). His party did not field him again when his four-year term expired in 2007 because of his alleged anti-party activities. He sought solace in the LP where he was offered a ticket to return to the House in 2 0 1 1 . Few months after he secured his seat, Abegunde dropped the bombshell by resigning his membership of the LP, citing
Few months after he secured his seat, Abegunde dropped the bombshell by resigning his membership of the LP, citing an imaginary crisis in the party
an imaginary crisis in the party. He immediately joined the ACN and indicated his interest in the October 20 governorship election on the platform of his new party. However, the LP leaders in his constituency immediately conveyed an emergency meeting where they faulted his action and resolve to recall h i m . The party chieftains who attended the meeting included political appointees, local government executives and ward executives. They described the defection of Abegunde as a blessing in disguise to the party. Notable among the people who attended the meeting, which lasted several hours, were: the lawmaker representing Akure North
DEMOCRACY DAY: Nigerians should be objective in assessing Jonathan — Odeh
•’Uduaghan is on track’ BY FESTUS AHON
As Nigerians continue to assess President Goodluck Jonathan one year after he came into office, High Chief Efe Odeh, a Warri-based politician, asks the people to be objective.
T is a year since Presi dent Goodluck Jonath an assumed office; has he justified the support the people of the South South gave to him during the elections? The president has just spent one year in office and it will be unfair for people to say he is not performing because one year cannot be enough for him to do all the magic the people are expecting. Nigerians should be patient and watch
out for better things to come because the president will not disappoint them, and he will surely justify the reason for supporting him, which is good governance for Nigeria. Don’t you think insecurity in the nation, especially in the North, is overwhelming the president in his transformation quest? NO, I don’t think so, because Nigeria is a very complex state and for a man from the minority to become a president is an act of God. And so, I’m appealing to Nigerians to cooperate with Mr. Preside nt so that he can be more focused in the area of infrastructural development that is more important to the people instead of disturbing the man’s attention with insecurity problem. You see, the moment we discipline ourselves politically, and we play our politics with the fear of God, Nigeria will experience
rapid transformation. What is your view particularly on power supply in the nation with regard to the expected increase in tariff? I will appeal to Mr. President to please dump this idea of increment of PHCN tariff. Presently we are experiencing epileptic power supply system which is making us to spend a lot of money in buying diesel and acquiring generators set and maintenance of same. Therefore, the increment at this material time is uncalled for. If I may ask, is it the cart before the horse or the horse before the horse? Equally, I want to appeal to the president not to allow bad economic advisers to derail his good programs as most of the down fall of some of our good leaders is as a result of bad economic advisers. So, let there be steady power supply be-
State Constituency in the House of Assembly, Mr. Akindele Adeniyi; the Commissioner for Culture Tourism, Mr. Deji Falae; and the Chairman of the State Scholarship Board, Mr. Oluremi Edu. Others were; the Chief of Protocol to the Governor, Mr. Dayo Awude; former Chairman of the state Water Corporation, Mr. Dapo Filani; and the Chairman of Akure North Local Government, Mr. Femi Ofakurin. Adeniyi noted that, contrary to the insinuations by Abegunde and his associates, LP remained indivisible in Akure North local government area. Adeniyi, who had earlier moved the motion for the recall of Abegunde on the
fore increase in tariff can be talked about since we are still battling with the effect of the fuel subsidy removal. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan is doing his best and his performance is all over the state for the people to see. But I must advise the governor to see the entire Delta State as his constituency and one indivisible entity and should not deny any community or persons the dividends of democracy whether they voted for him or not, because he is now the father of all Deltans and not of one political party. Though there must be opposition, that should not distract him from performing his legitimate duties because the opposition at times gives room for more performance and action. I therefore advice the governor to focus in his developmental stride. During the last governorship election, the governor made a promise to make some changes particularly in the area of infrastructure; has anything really changed? Yes, so many things have changed in terms of infrastructure and otherwise. But, I must tell you that Delta State is not like Lagos State where everything is put in one place like mirror for people to look at. So, one needs to go round
floor of the Ondo State House of Assembly, said the action of the federal lawmaker was morally wrong. Falae and Awude urged members of the party to remain focused and united ahead of the governorship election. Swiftly, members of the state House of Assembly passed a resolution asking the leadership of the House of Representatives to stop further recognition of Abegunde. The legislators, at a special siting early in the year, specifically sought the recall of Abegunde, popularly known as ‘Àbena’ because he had dumped the LP and defected to the ACN. Three lawmakers from each of the three senatorial districts of the state spoke on the development and unanimously submitted that the leadership of the House of Representatives should send Abegunde packing from the National Assembly with immediate effect. The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Samuel Adesina, subjected the motion to a vote and majority of the lawmakers voted in support of the recall Continues on page 47
•Chief Moses Efe Odeh the whole state before one can actually ascertain the level of development. Imagine the state with so many tribes and many demand from each tribe; every reasonable government must be careful before certain decisions are taken, and so, it will take time for people to understand what is happening in the state. So, on a more serious note, I must tell you that a lot of things are changing for better in the state. Do we really had reason to celebrate May 29 as Democracy Day in the state? Yes! There is every reason to celebrate May 29th as Democracy Day, because the worst civilian government is better than the best military government in any nation or state. And so, Nigerians should give room for democracy to
Continues on page 47
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 41
Edo voters are the philosopher kings not Abuja —Obahiagbon Edo guber election.
BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
OW has it been being the D i r e c t o r incharge of Rallies in the Oshiomhole Campaign Organization? For us in the ACN, it has been a jolly political ride thus far against the backdrop of the fact that in less than four years of Governor Adams Oshiomole in the saddle of governance, Edo State has witnessed unprecedented developmental and, from this point of view, therefore, the campaign has been fundamentally issue-based and the people have no problem relating with the Comrade Governor. Our people are sincerely appreciative of his Spartan simplicity and dogged determination to transform Edo State into a place where happiness is optimized. They are therefore determined to overwhelmingly return him back to Osadebey Avenue for the sole purpose of taking Edo State to the next level. Whilst we are democratically engaging the people of Edo State, it appears to me that the PDP is placing so much premium on Abuja as if Abuja would come and vote come July 14th.We must, however, warn that the people of Edo State are now politically conscious and are prepared to defend their votes. How do you feel when people express their love for you each time you are in rallies? Nice to hear and know that people are positively reacting to my deep
Mr Patrick Obahiagbon involvement in the campaign process.I am happy doing what I am doing and that is the irreducible minimum we owe Edo and our Comrade Governor who has done so much to retrieve the political economy of the state from politicians who were solely propelled by selfish interests. I pray God gives me life and good health to see this through. You can see for yourself that the Comrade Governor has completely demystified governance by his modus operandi which he has also brought delightfully into his campaigns. He does not find it difficult to relate in practical terms with the people. Little wonder that our campaigns are usually charged with affection towards him. His entry and exit at every campaign ground is like the triumphant entry into Jerusalem. How do you tamper with election results with this kind of
would say res ipsa loquitur, meaning the facts speak for themselves. I don’t think it is a question of joining the bandwagon.It’s rather a genuine appreciation of a man whose dauntless efforts in transforming the state in all it’s facets are visible, from massive road construction efforts across the state, to the provision of durable drainage ceramics, provision of employment, rebuilding our public school infrastructure, provision of health facilities, provision of potable water, rural transformation and urban renewal to mention a few. Everybody wants to be part of the Comrade Governor ’s efforts to genuinely transform Edo State into an eldorado. As has been rightly observed, there are only three candidates to beat in this election and they are: (1)Adams(2)Aliu and (3)Oshiomole.So you can see that Comrade Adams
Mr Patrick Obahiagbon is a former member representing Oredo Federal Constituency of Edo State in the House of Representatives. Igodomigodo, as he is fondly called, is currently the Director incharge of Rallies, in the Campaign Organization of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. His use of grammar has been very entertaining and has indeed added spice to whatever message Oshiomhole has been dishing out to the people of the state ahead of the July 14 governorship election in the state. In this interview, Igodomigodo declares that it would be a Herculean task for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State to win the forthcoming governorship election, asserting that O s h i o m h o l e ’ s developmental projects will win the election for him. Excerpts:
eaders of the PDP are moving to the ACN every day, but some people feel they are not principled politicians. How do you feel? T h e l a w y e r s
The sheer force of Comrade Adams Oshiomole's meteoric and solid achievements has redefined the issues at stake. Edo people are no more interested in politics of atavism
people’s resolve and consciousness. As the Director in charge of Rallies of the Oshiomole Campaign Organization, I see a people who are resolved to fight on the land, I see a people who are ready to fight on the seas, I see a people who are determined to fight on the mountain tops, I see a people who are committed to fight on the beaches, I see a people who are ready to fight inside the forests and I see a people who won’t harbor any reservations in fighting inside the inner recesses of the Presidential Villa if they are provoked to so do by any misuse of the socalled federal might on the
Aliu Oshiomole is the only candidate roaring in the political jungle of Edo State. any people think M the introduction of ethnic politics may affect
the chances of Oshiomhole in Edo South? It is maniacally bewildering that the PDP has introduced ethnicity and tribalism into Edo State governorship electioneering process and the point must be made that they started this right from their primaries for the election or is it selection now of their governorship candidate and you know what? One of their fine aspirants,Mr Kenneth Imasuagbon, who is not a
Bini man, humbled their governorship candidate (Gen.Charles Airhiavbere) in his Bini speaking senatorial district. The farreaching political implication of the “Imasuagbon treatment” is that even at their micropedestal of party primaries, the people of Edo State had made a bold statement that this election is not about tribe or ethnicity. The sheer force of Comrade Adams Oshiomoles meteoric and solid achievements has redefined the issues at stake. Edo people are no more interested in politics of atavism. They are now keen on bigger issues of political economy, developmentalism, government as an instrument of social engineering. May be I should say here that the Comrade Governor has been endorsed by prominent Bini palace chiefs and also by the Benin Forum and The Benin Heritage Centre, being respectable bodies committed to maintaining and defending the essence and well-being of the Bini man.I can confidently pontificate that, to the extent that the Bini agenda is all about the development of Benin and beyond, Comrade Adams Oshiomole is indeed the Bini, Esan and Afemai candidate.He is the Edo State candidate. But the PDP has boasted that they will apply the federal might to ensure that they sack Oshiomhole from the Osadebe Avenue. Are you not worried over that? I have continuously heard that sophistry from PDP megaphones and I humbly and respectfully submit that to tread that path is stretching their irrationality too far. The people of Edo State are hyper conscious and politically sensitive to give room for any Federal Government abracadabra. It is in the public domain that the leadership of PDP had a late night meeting with Mr President some weeks ago with a view to possibly railroading him into unleashing unto Edo State the much vaunted federal might. If that works in other states,it would certainly not work in Edo State. I am reluctant to believe that Mr President would want to provoke unnecessary crisis in Edo State not when he himself has purportedly keyed into the ‘one man, one vote’ mathra, originated by the Comrade Governor. If there is one state where the people are going to insist on a transparent electoral process, it is in Edo State.
TIT-BITS 'Oshiomhole should stop raising false alarm’
Following allegations and counter allegations over plans to rig the forthcoming election by both the PDP and the ACN, a leader of the PDP in the state, Owere Dickson Imasogie, advised Governor Adams Oshiomhole to remember that he is the governor of the state and stop raising false alarm. Imasogie said: “How can a governor lead a protest to INEC office and has been running about and accusing the PDP of every evil? That is not how to govern the state because he is creating tension every where”.
Drama as police avert fight between PDP, ACN youths
Like people who have suffered for some time now after the Governor Adams Oshiomhole-led Action Congress of Nigeria took over power in Edo State in 2008, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got some relief, last week, when an Ekpoma High Court declared the current Transition Chairmen in the 18 Local Government Councils in the state as illegal. Consequently, in order to, at least, get hold of some councils before the election, PDP youths stormed Seme council headquarters, last Wednesday, to take over. They started from Edo Central, the domain of Chief Tomy Anenih. However, their hopes were dashed when they found out that they were yet to get the right of execution for the judgment. The police told them that their action was illegal since there was no right of execution yet. PDP leaders are eagerly awaiting that execution order.
PDP lose members to ACN
The battle for Osadebey Avenue is becoming too difficult for the PDP in Edo State as over two thousand of their members dumped the party for the ACN last week. The latest decampee, though he had a brief stay at the Labour Party before coming to the ACN, was the former Chief of Staff to Prof. Osarhiemen Osunbor, Mr Isaiah Osifo. Before Osifo came, on Tuesday, a former Deputy Governor of the state, Rev Peter Obadan, and a former Governor, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, had all joined Oshiomhole’s ACN. PDP leaders toiled in vain to get Osifo back to the party by even making serious contributions during the burial of his late mother, but Osifo said he had settled for the ACN due to Oshiomhole’s developmental strides.
EDO CP in trouble
The Edo State Police Commissioner Olayinka Balogun only resumed in the state two months ago, but any one who knows him very well will observe that he has aged overnight. The reason is not farfetched. The man will either be lambasted by Gov. Oshiomhole or Chief Tony Anenih, a PDP leader over the July poll in the state. Balogun, who has been doing all he could to ensure peace in the land, raised the alarm to newsmen last Monday about plans by politicians to unleash mayhem on themselves ahead of the election. He lamented: “Even in Kano where they have more local governments, it is never like this in an election but the trouble in two local governments here is more than ten in other areas. It is sad but we are ready to stop them”.
Politics truly a dirty game
Only few people in Edo State know the relationship between the chairman of the PDP in Edo State Chief Orbih, and Governor Oshiomhole. Orbih has been a close family friend of the Oshiomholes even when Oshiomhole was in the NLC. Orbih’s children visit the Oshiomholes home in Kaduna to spend their holidays while Oshiomhole’s kids would also visit Port Harcourt then. These two people shared a lot in common. But today due to the murky waters of politics they no longer see. Their patriachs abuse themselves on the pages of newspapers. Oshiomhole had on one occasion described Orbih as a cement seller while Orbih replied by calling him a tailor who is opportune to be where he is.
C M Y K
PA GE 42---SUND AY V ANGU ARD, JUNE 3, 2012 PAGE 42---SUNDA VANGU ANGUARD,
Govt should accept they can't run Nigeria---Alile .......Pages
Adeboye boosts science education with N50m endowment By Sam EYOBOKA
HILE other well placed Nigerians are mouthing their dissatisfaction about dwindling budgetary allocations to the Nigerian education sector, the quintessential General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye is
quietly and steadily promoting scholarship through the sponsorship of research in the nation's universities. Despite the controversy currently trailing the rechristening of his alma mater, that has led to the closure of the University of Lagos, Pastor Adeboye will today hand over a cheque worth N50 million to the vice chan-
cellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Professor Idowu Bamitale Omole. The donation represents an endowment of a professorial chair for mathematics in that tertiary institution at the fifth edition of Excel 2012 Conference---a baby of the Apapa Family of the church. Endowment gifts offer an
Oritsejafor, Alile, others task parents on child upbringing By Sam EYOBOKA and Olayinka LATONA
ITH pomp a n d pageantry Nigerian children, in very colourful attires, trooped out last Sunday to various churches and other fun places where they joyfully showcased their potentials under the watchful eyes of parents or guardians as they joined their counterparts the world over to mark this year’s Children’s Day. They displayed their skills at the different concerts and carnivals as they children ate, drank and danced to melodious music either in their churches or the different concert spots across the country. At the St. Joseph’s Chosen Church of God, Osapa London, Lekki in Lagos, the Chosen Children Ministry organised a musical concert tagged “Catch Them Young” in commemoration of the day and it was aimed at bringing out the hidden talents in children. As expected, the children captivated their C M Y K
FUTURE MUSICIANS: Children of St. Joseph's Chosen Church of God displaying their talents with musical instruments. audience with various the Children’s Day cele- and other social vices in and the pastor in charge music forms including brations, Nigerian par- Nigeria. of the Redeemed Christclassical, local songs ents both in the rural Stating the importan- ian Church of God, accompanied with local and urban centres, were ce of nutrition in the RCCG, Glory Chapel in and classical instrum- urged to take particular lives of young lads, the Abule Egba, Lagos, ents. The children did an attention of the nutrition National President of Pastor Ladi Akinsanya orchestral presentat-ion of their children, just as CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritse- opined that every child titled I surrender all, I they were enjoined to jafor, Spiritual Leader of is a product of what they am thine oh Lord closely monitor their St. Joseph’s Chosen eat. amongst others. activities against the Church of God, SJCCG, Preaching a sermon Beyond the fun fare of growing rate of cultism Apostle Hayford Alile Continued on Page 45
extraordinary opportunity for benefactors to support research into the big questions of our time and beyond. This brings to four the number of chairs he has endowed as part of his contribution to excellence in tertiary education in Nigeria. Adeboye had doled out similar amounts to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the University of Ibadan, Ibadan and the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. Pastor Adeboye, 70, has a PhD in applied mathematics from the University of Lagos, and worked as a lecturer in mathematics at the universities of Lagos and Ilorin before he was divinely elected to become the General Overseer of RCCG in 1981 after the death of the founder the previous year. Like biblical Peter, a fisherman who was called to be a fisher of men, Pastor Adeboye could be said to have been called, at a time when being a pastor was not attractive to professionals, to be a teacher of men with a mandate to lead them to Heaven; take as many people with him; have a member of RCCG in every family of all nations through holiness and planting of churches within five minutes walking distance in every city and town of developing countries and within five minutes driving distance in every city and town of developed countries. Today at the Tafewa Balewa Square in Lagos, where Nigeria’s indeContinues on Page 43
No peace until black man returns to God ....Page 43
SUND AY V ANGU ARD, JUNE 3, 2012--- P AGE 43 SUNDA VANGU ANGUARD, PA
ETER says to Christians: “Al ways be ready to give a logical defence to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you.” (I Peter 3:15). However, most Christians cannot do this because our understanding of the faith does not make logical sense. We believe things that are contradictory and preeminently illogical. This makes our faith rationally indefensible. Seat most Christians in a discussion-panel with atheists or agnostics and we would easily become a laughing-stock.
or example, some Christians main tain Jesus has taken away our sins. If so, why are we still so sinful? We say Jesus paid for our sins and at the same time insist our sins are forgiven. But if our sins are paid for, that means they are not forgiven. If our sins are forgiven, no one needs to pay for them. We say Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and maintain the penalty is eternal damnation. However, Jesus did not die eternally: he only died for three days. When we point out such anomalies to fellow-
Christians, they insist the problem is that we are devoid of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. But how does the Holy Spirit become the exclusive preserve of the illogical? Indeed, who can be more logical than God? What can be more logical than the universe he created? Everything about the kingdom of God makes logical sense. Therefore Jesus says: “If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” (John 7:17).
ome insist that, in matters of faith, the application of reason is ill-advised. Paul says: “It is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’” (I Corinth-ians 1:19). But, as usual, Paul’s quote is a distortion of Isaiah. Isaiah’s statement is addressed specifically to the prophets and seers of biblical Israel. He says: “The wisdom of THEIR WISE MEN shall perish, and the understanding of THEIR PRUDENT MEN shall be hidden.” (Isaiah 29:14). This is a far cry from God destroying the wisdom of the wise in general.
As a matter of fact, God openly invites us to reason with him. He says: “Present your case; bring forth your strong reasons.” (Isaiah 41:21). “Let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted.” (Isaiah 43:26). “Come now, and let us reason together, though your sins are like scar-
When faith is phony, it seeks refuge in illogicality Paul says: “NOT MANY WISE according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” (I Corinthians 1:26). But Jesus says different. He says: “Indeed, I send you prophets, WISE MEN, and scribes.” (Matthew 23: 34). God is reasonable. He gave us brains and expects us to use them. He is not opposed to wisdom. Indeed, Solomon says in matters of faith wisdom is essential: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7). Luke observes that, as a child: “Jesus increased in wisdom.” (Luke 2:52). James counsels: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5). Jesus also says we should love the Lord “with all our mind.” (Mark 12:30). That means we should love God with our mental faculties.
let, they shall be as white as snow.” (Isa 1:18-19). When God determined to destroy the Israelites, Moses reasoned with him. He queried him: “Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people.” (Exodus 32:12). Indeed, Moses succeeded in dissuading God: “So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.” (Exodus 32:14).
t is bankrupt Chris tian faith that is il logical. When faith is phony, it seeks refuge in illogicality. When Christian doctrine is built on sand as opposed to the rock, it becomes internally inconsistent and falls apart. Jesus is always logical. He is a meticulous, punctilious and systematic teacher. Everything about his teachings on the kingdom of God is logically consistent. Isaiah foretells this:
“Precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10). Jesus is contemptuous of hypocrites essentially because their actions are illogical. He warns us not to emulate them: “Do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” (Matthew 23:3). Liars and cheats are incoherent. Sooner than later, their deceptions reveal inconsistencies between their words and their conduct.
uke testifies about “all that Jesus be gan to do and to teach.” (Acts 1:1). This shows there is no dissonance in Jesus. He does what he teaches: he does not teach what he does not do. According-ly, Jesus declares he is the bread of life and then multiplies five loaves and two fishes to feed 5,000 people. He declares he is the light of the world and then opens the eyes of the blind. He declares he is the resurrection and the life, and then raises Lazarus from the dead.
Jesus the logician Jesus is a masterful logician. He demolished the position of the Sadducees that there is no resurrection by pointing out that: “God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and I am the God of Isaac, and I am the God of Jacob.’ God was telling Moses that these men, though dead for hundreds of years, were still very much alive, for he would not have said, 'I am the
God' of those who don't exist!” (Mark 12:26-27). When his authority was challenged, Jesus replied: “‘I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: The baptism of John-was it from heaven or from men?’ And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘If we say, “from heaven,” He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, “From men,” all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.’ So they answered that they did not know where it was from.” (Luke 20:3-7). Thus, Jesus’ logic confounds unbelief. He asks the Pharisees who insist the Messiah is the son of David: “If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” (Matthew 22:45). Matthew reports that: “No one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.” (Matthew 22:46).
Postscript I was holding lunchhour fellowships in Victoria Island, Lagos but soon ran out of space. All my extensions could not go beyond seating 120 people. Suddenly, the Lord said to me: “Femi, do you know you can increase the capacity of this hall by 50 per cent?” “How is that possible?” I asked. He replied: “Build pews.” When I did, the hall was able to accommodate 180. Beware of Christians who insist you must not use your brains in order to walk by faith. They are all preachers of a false gospel.
Govt should accept they can't run Nigeria----Apostle Alile Continued from Page 42
run this country by themselves. They need the assistance of people who will provide the food and orderliness for the spirit, body and the soul of man and that is not what government can do. They should concern itself with how we can set up proper educational policy that any volunteer who wants to set up primary and secondary schools will settle within these educ-ational policies and its the duty of government to go and inspect the schools and
ensure mon-itoring compliance. It is criminal, abomination, and insult on God and their parents to take a knife and cut their fellow human beings. Today, some of these children are doing it but they don’t know the implicat-ion. I know what I am saying, at least I run a church; some even think taking drug is a routine thing and nobody is correcting them. They don’t see anything bad in doing it. Parents give their children school fees and the children gamble with the money. It is such a serious problem. Is there any hope for
the Nigerian children? There is hope for them. The whole thing must start with you; in the sense that you know the whole problems and the reason why you know all these problem is because of your exposure. A lot of Nigerians are very exposed but unfortunately, like what you see in democracy; democracy doesn’t tolerate the best, for leadership. The way we are going in ths country, it will take us a long time before we can produce the right leadership that propel this country to its promised land, but certainly we will get there.
Recently the National Assembly rejected a Bill on same sex marriage. What is your take on it? The question I kept
show you that atimes there can be some mistakes in human mentality and I really clap my hands for Senator David Mark who stood against it. Our prayers go to him. He is the *Send jokes to: kind of leader we are looking for in this email@example.com country. bell attached to his priests until she got to weenie, and they were the final priest, Carlos. told that anyone whose Poor Carlos. bell rang when she As she danced, his bell danced in front of them began to ring so loudly would not be ordained that it flew off, clattering because he had not across the ground and reached a state of spirit- laid to rest in nearby foual purity. liage. The beautiful model Embarrassed, Carlos danced before the first quickly scrambled to candidate with no react- where the bell came to ion. She proceeded down rest. When he bent over the line with the same to pick it up, all the othresponse from all the er bells started to ring. asking the western leaders who believe in such stupid thing is; 'if their fathers married their brothers would they have been born? And that is to
JEST THE MINUTE Twelve priests
WELVE priests were about to be ordained. The final test was for them to line up in a straight row, totally nude, in a garden while a sexy, beautiful, big breasted, nude model danced before them. Each priest had a small
PAGE 44 — SUND AY V ANGU ARD, JUNE 3, 2012 SUNDA VANGU ANGUARD,
No peace until black man returns to God By Caleb AYANSINA
BUJA---THE international president of Center for the Advancement of Christians in Politics, Barrister Victor Dan-Jumbo has declared that it would be extremely difficult for the black race to reach its potentials until it reconnects with its spiritual root which is in the Lord. Dan-Jumbo made this frightening declosure while speaking at the 2012 breakfast retreat of the Centre titled; 'Operation Rehoboth' in Abuja. He also challenged Christians to embrace politics as people enjoy when the righteous rules. According to him, all Africans nations are endangered because their roots are found in idolatry, noting “when the black race walks with God, they are blessed by God, when they walk away from God, they walk into destructive lifestyles”. Dan-Jumbo pointed out African Union and ECOWAS have made made numerous deliberate efforts to solve the problems facing Africa, but Jesus said that "without Him, we can do nothing”; emphasasing that the major problem of Nigeria and indeed Africa has to do with leadership failure. He argued that such signifies divine anger and punishment from the Almighty God, therefore, we must return to Him. “The major trouble that Africa is facing is leadership. Once those in leadership are babies, this is what would happen. Once you find that there is no leadership, it is an evidence that there is anger from the Almighty. African nations are undergoing this challenge, and we must make a difference. God is expecting much from Christians. God wants His children to do and change things as Christians in this world," he added. Also speaking, a former parliamentarian, Senator Ebenezer Chukwuemeka said that things would continue to go wrong as long as people who have what it takes to turn the nation around for good are exhibiting ‘I don’t care attitude’.
Govt should acce run Nigeria — Ali A
postle Hayford Alile, the pioneer Director-General of the N great contributions to the Exchange, is a household name. decades of financial management experience and expertise several blue chip companies in the country. He is the Spiritual Lead spoke with our SAM EYOBOKA on the state of the nation. Excerpt
Adeboye boosts education Continued from Page 42 pendence celebration took place on October 1, 1960 with the Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa, delivering his independence speech, Adeboye besides preaching a message specially targeted at the youths, will hand over the cheque to the vice chancellor to boost the study of mathematics in OAU, Ile Ife. He is also expected to dedicate a Youth Academy sponsored by the Apapa Family in line with the church’s social corporate responsibility. To underscore the emphasis the church places on youths as change catalysts, it had
perfected plans to establish Excel Academy—a mentoring and leadership training institution for youths. According to Pastor Morgan an investment on the nation's youths would positively influence their thinking, their orientation and actions will change for the betterment of our country, "that is why we are focusing on the youths." According to the organizers of the programme there will be food enough for about 100,000 persons at the venue of the spiritual fiesta while music ministration would be by youthful musicians like Tim Godfrey, Eben and JO Blue.
TODAY IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY JUNE 3, 1083: Henry IV of Germany storms Rome, capturing St. Peter’s Cathedral.
JUNE 3, 1620: Construction of the oldest stone church in
French North America, Notre-Dame-des-Anges, begins at Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. JUNE 3, 1658: Pope Alexander VII appoints François de Laval vicar apostolic in New France. JUNE 3, 1752: Moscow houses & churches destroyed by fire. JUNE 3, 1886: 24 Christians burn to death in Namgongo Uganda. JUNE 3, 1963: Pope John XXIII the 261st Pope of the Roman Catholic Church died at age 81 less than five years after becoming Pope. JUNE 3, 1981: Pope John Paul II released from hospital after assassination attempt.
CHRISTIAN FESTIVALS for June 2012 03: Trinity Sunday 07: Corpus Christi 29: Saints Peter and Paul
The title of the revelation to your church this year is Fear Not! If we place that side by side with the current state of insecurity in the country especially in a nation where Boko Haram have given an altimatum to Christians to vacate the North. How can Christians live withot fear? I believe that God has a covenant with this country. We will make mistakes and such mistakes will cost us some lves but His message is Fear Not, because what goes up must come down. The group have admitted and believe that God created them. God also created the people they are asking to vacate the North, otherwise they kill them. There is a limit to all these things and our prayer is for their eyes to be
opened and their ears to be opened to what God is saying. You cannot just wake up and start killing innocent people. You will have to account for it and the price they will pay for it may not be too far away. Sir, has the government handled the security issues as it should be? Yes and no! In an evolving democratic environment like this, I think they are justified to tread softly and adopt due process because we are still learning the ropes. Democracy is a learning process and that process can be very expensi-ve. The security arm of the government should get up and do their work. Nigeria is not a foolish country. We are not a foolish people. On the contrary the few people who
In a predominantly agricultural country, we are pretending to be a post-industrial country; we have to pay a price for it or else it will collapse
run the affairs of this nation are very intelligent people. The security people must wake to their responsibility. If there is no cooperation from the se-curity people, the government knows what to do and it should do it fast. If certain persons are not responsible, the governm-ent should put them on their toes. How do you assess the performance of Mr. President thus far? President Jonathan inherited a very bad situation and he is managing within the cooperat-ion he has been able to get from our brothers and sisters from the North. I don’t think we can assess his performan-ce, good or bad, using the time available. If we look at all ma-thematical models for political system, democracy is still the best but the assumptions like high literacy level, common-ality of language and distribu-tion of wealth and resources; Nigeria cannot qualify to be called a democratic nation. Democracy is not a one point action, but rather a process. Just look around us and see who else will replace him. If you bring a non-minority to be president right now, there will be a lot of hue and cry. So, let's tolerate what we have for the time being. I have said it again and again that left for human reasoning or calculations, there will be questions as to how Dr. Jonathan got there. What is in the mind of God, is not what is the mind of man. Jonathan is the will of God and we should not fight it. Thank God four years is just a short time in a life cycle. Nigerians got a very unpleasant New Year gift on January 1 when the president removed fuel subsidy. What was your reaction? I was shocked myself because of the timing. I believe in due cause the president should be able to tell the nation why he took that decision. He really had to have consulted widely among the stakeholders before that move. With the little we have been able to read sure enough; if small countries like Ghana can remove fuel subsidy why not Nigeria? The amount of mon-ey we are borrowing to spon-sor
C M Y K
SUND AY V ANGU ARD, JUNE 3, 2012--- P AGE 45 SUNDA VANGU ANGUARD, PA
ept they can't ile
Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, who for many years made He is a financial expert and analyst who has over three e. A well known technocrat, Alile is still on the Board of der of Saint Joseph's Chosen Church of God. Recently, he ts... fuel subsidy is enormous and we are creating a very heavy liability for our children. A lot of the youths who are fighting today, will not understand the implication of the move. If they know the implic-ations, they will be first to kick against it, by saying 'no we don’t want our fathers to leave such huge liability for us.' Therefore, it is a serious matter and we have to reflect proper-ly before we take side. Sir, is the huge liability not as a result of corruption in the system? Yes, it is. There are illusions in the minds of people that the price of fuel in Lagos should be the same in every part of the nation. If you go to America, even within a state you will find different prices because of the cost of moving the commodity. If you want a luxury movement from one place to another, you have to pay a price for it. If government decises to fix our rail-lines to carry goods and services across the country, we have to pay, because there is no free lunch. its part of human relation and existence. What we are told is that Nigeria spends almost N3 trillion for fuel subsidy per year. Who is providing such money? If we continue to print naira notes, inflation will take us over. What we are hearing is that they have been borrowing the money. That is how we have managed our economy in the past. In a predominantly agricult-ural country, we are pretending to be a post-industrial country; we have to pay a price for it or else it will collapse. So, we must hold back a little; encourage our farmers and the young people who are crying for employments should go to the farms. The entrepreneural spirit of the Nigerian will, out of this confusion, explode. When got
C M Y K
political independence on a plat-ter of gold; so we don't know the value of it. If we want economic ind-ependence we have to pay some price. There is a lot of endowments that God has given to this country, but you don't plant yam today and hope to harvest it tomo-rrow. Neither do you go to the Sahara desert and say you are expecting a good harvest. There are lots of things that need-ed to be done nationally. But the tragedy of the Nigerian situation is that we pontificate without implementaion. We've had all the models in the past---Green Revolution, Operation Feed the nation and what have you.... Well, everything has its good morning. If you wake up by 2.00 p.m. it's good morning; but now that we are seeing dangers ahead and I hope that rascality and foolishness will not push us to dangerous things. Many atimes, we were at the brink of falling over but God carried us on His shoulder and He will continue to do that, because God has a purpose for this country. How do we address the economy without tackling corruption? Today, we still have leg-islators who earn more than the American president. The budget for our president's feeding runs into millions of naira per day... Well, that is a tell tale. Left to me and my wife, our food budget will not be up to 10 per cent of what it is today. Why is it like that; people uninvited, brothers, sisters, church members are hungry and they eat from the kitchen. We may not be able to come to judgement on President Jonathan and the vice president, but they have heard the hue and cry of the people, I am quite sure, they would do som-
ething. What are they eating? There are several ways of tackling corrupt-ion. I have said that our government of 30 or 40 years ago made a mista-ke. The military govern-ment thought they could legislate morality and decided to take over pri-mary and secondary sch-ools from the missionar-ies. I started schooling in a Muslim school befo-re proceeding to a Catholic school and the man in me was brought out before I finished my secondary school. But today, some of the state govern-ments now realizing that they cannot legislate morality and two they don’t really know how to manage the schools. Some of them are now handing the schools over to missionaries which established the schools. I can’t never allow my children to go and take some other person's thing; what do not belong to me---something I did not work for. Never! Because my conscience tells me no. But, today there is nobody bringing up these children. Sometimes I drive down here around 8:30 a.m. to 9.00 a.m and I still see primary school pupils walking down the street. It never happened in our days. We have to go back and accept the fact that we are a rural agricultural society and our economy must take the natural curve after agri-cultural self sufficiency in food production. That Nigeria is importing cassava, rice amongst others is an abomina-tion. What we are telling God is that He made a mistake and He never made a mistake by creat-ing us and putting us in this land. Same thing go-es for our primary, secon-dary and territory institut-ions. Government should accept the fact that they cannot
Continued on Page 45
Oritsejafor Oritsejafor,, Alile, others task par ents on child upbringing parents Continued from Pg 42 titled, Family Altar, in his church, Word of Life Bible Church, Warri, Delta State, Pastor Oritsejafor stressed the need for parents to place value on their children because every child is born to solve a problem. He enjoined parents not to neglect their young ones; “don’t kill their talents,” even as he advised them to set up a family altar. As parents, he said, “we must try as much as possible to actualise the children’s potentials”, noting that the child’s spiritual destiny begins in Heaven; while his/ her physical destiny begins with the spouse we marry and how we jointly raise the child in the fear and nurture of our Maker.
o the children, he also had a word of admonition, saying they must listen to their parents and respect them; not forgetting to stress that the father is the physical head of the family. Speaking at the Children’s Day service, the Spiritual Leader of SJCCG, Apostle Hayford Alile charged parents not to hide their children’s talents but, rather encourage them to develop their Godgiven potentials. Speaking through Apostle Emmanuel Nmalagu, the spiritual leader said gone are the days when parents tied down their children’s talents; charging ministers of God to encourage the leaders of tomorrow to nurture their talents. His words: “In the olden days our gifts were tied down but now those gifts are being stirred up. I was pleasantly shocked to see these children displaying different kinds of gifts and talents. Our children have diverse talents embedded in them by God”.
imilarly, the n a t i o n a l coordinator of the Chosen Children Ministry, Mrs. Star Abache told our reporter that the objective of the programme was to search and discover the hidden gifts and talents
The children department of Mountain Of Fire And Miracle Ministries, Region 13, Mushin Lagos, performing during the children's day celebration at the church auditorium.
*Children's Day at the RCCG, Glory Chapel, Abule Egba, Lagos. in the children at early age with a view to developing such gifts for the benefit of the entire country. She therefore urged parents, guardians and stakeholders to invest in their children’s development and help to improve their in-built talents; noting that Nigerian children will not be lured into evil practices or illicit habits if they are rightfully engaged in doing the right things. Drawing inspiration from various biblical passages, Pastor Akinsanya enjoined parents to give their children close marking and monitor whatever they do or who they associate with. That way, he said, the young minds will imbibe godly principles and will not
ccording to him, in these days of n e g a t i v e spiritual influences parents must spend quality time with their children and bring them up as friends, praying with them, giving them opportunities to express themselves in their usual innocence while the duty of the parents is to correct them in love. The RCCG pastor advised parents not to spare the rode in the onerous task of bringing up the child in the way of the Lord, adding “some times there is the need to apply the rode. Par-ents must desist from threatening teachers who help to shape our children by applying the whip.”
DO YOU KNOW?
HAT Eckankar means "Co-worker with God." It offers ways to explore your own unique and natural relationship with the Divine. With the personalized study that is a part of Eckankar, you get divine guidance to apply in your everyday life and on your journey home to God. The full experience of God is possible in this lifetime! Spiritual Study Groups Eckankar is mainly about your daily, personal connection with Divine Spirit. You'll also find people of like mind and experience in Eckankar who share your desire for truth. Your spiritual experiences reach welcoming ears among ECKists, those who study the ECK teachings.
PAGE 46—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
Government and its misplaced priority BY KAREEM MAYOWA
VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF Unease in the opposition party barely six weeks to gubernatorial poll in the state.
’M in high spirit today because I have married the woman of my choice virtually at no cost because government shouldered the cost”. These were the words of 55- year-old Sule Alaramma, one of the 100 beneficiaries of the recent bride bonanza initiative of Kano State government in conjunction with the state’s sharia police known as Hisbah and Voice of Orphans, Widows And Divorcees, VOWAD, an NGO. This development in itself is not bad. After all, nobody can fault the Kano government, Hisbah and VOWAD for helping to remove these men and women from the stigmatization of divorce and widowhood in a country like Nigeria but the result will be a massive increase in Almajiris which will further swell the ranks of extremists and fanatics who recruit hungry boys as agents of destruction, violence and suicide bombings. Almajiris emanated from the Arabic word, Al-muhajirin. The concept came as a result of Prophet Muhammed (SAW)
migration from Mecca to Medina due to the problems of idol worshipping in Mecca. Al-muhajirin therefore means the immigrant, but here in Nigeria, especially in the North, Almajiris could mean one of the following: children between the ages of 5 and 11 who attend an informal religious school and who equally roam about with the purpose of getting assistance or arms; a child who engages in some form of menial labor to earn a living; or any person irrespective of gender who begs for assistance on the street or from house to house as a result of deformity or disability. Usually a child becomes an Almajiri when there is poverty in his family and is unable to take care of his essential needs. Some children are forced to become Almajiris simply when they lose their parents and their relatives or guardians cannot keep them. Most of such children also become victims when their parents send them to Quranic schools outside their hometowns. At the end of the day, the children will learn less about the Qur ’an and more about mischievous acts. From the aforementioned, one can deduce that the initial idea behind an Almajiri being someone that follows the prophet in order to gain Quranic knowledge has been bastardized by Nigerians especially those across the North. One begins to wonder how
many more Almajiri schools will the government be expected to build to cater for the children that will besiege the country after the one hundred of brides and grooms begin to fulfill their matrimonial duties of reproduction or has the government of Kano State made provision to feed and clothe these gifts that will surface after nine months as a result of these unions? Some may say the beneficiaries were given 20,000 naira
ed such as eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, insecurity, affordable health care, infrastructural development, creation of job opportunities and others too many to mention, the government of Kano State ought to have picked from those guaranteed to bring more good to the people which brings us to another case of misplaced priorities which is the so-called establishment of modern boarding school for Almajiris with the
I think what the president has simply done is to address the problem of Almajiris and sectarian violence from the branches rather than the roots
each to start businesses that will help sustain their families but what skills have they acquired to help them properly utilize the money? What has the government put in place to ensure that the beneficiaries do not squander this money in an effort to keep body and soul together, after all, some of them are second or third wives as allowed by Islam. This is simply a case of a government that has lost its priority and purpose. With thousands of projects and policies begging to be implement-
commissioning of one in Gabi local government area of Sokoto State by President Goodluck Jonathan.. The president described this development as a fulfillment of his campaign promises, but, as a friend aptly put it, “ the president is laying the foundation for 2015”. I think what the president has simply done is to address the problem of Almajiris and sectarian violence from the branches rather than the roots because what good will an organized school with the same ‘mallams’, that
is, teachers, do rather than churn out miscreants, vagabonds, street urchins, etc. like it has always done? Moreover, this is not the first government has tried to address the problems posed by the Almajiri syndrome; we have had examples like the nomadic education, education of the children of migrant fishermen, education of the girlchild in the North and the boychild drop-out syndrome in the South-East. These projects apparently failed because their impact has not been felt by the nation. Billions of Naira were sunk into the projects in the past yet they yielded no fruit. The Almajiri school project is, therefore, in my opinion, an elephant project, because it is the ‘mallams’ that should be educated before the children. The president has promised similar projects in all 36 states of Nigeria. Apart from the fact that this is an insult to states in the eastern and western parts of Nigeria that have no Almajiris, one is forced to wonder what measures have been put in place to ensure the sustainability of the project. What are the states and local governments contributing to it apart from land for the schools and their pictures in the press? There is a high possibility that the project will end up abandoned like most projects in Nigeria. *Mayowa is of Federal Polytechnic, Bida.
Man of Peace, Edward Akenzua, Enogie of Ologbo, turns 80 ers, and later at the University of Benin, where he retired as the Director of Health Service in 1992. He has continued to enjoy his calling of commitment to humanity, in saving life and delivering health service as a medical practitioner till date, as the Medical Director of Western Polyclinic, Benin City. Akenzua is a great leader of
BY LAJA THOMAS
IS Royal Highness, Prince Edward Ekighawogho Akenzua, the Enogie of Ologbo, in Edo State, was 80 years old yesterday. His many years on the throne since he was installed as the 1st Enogie of Ologbo Dukedom in 1988 by Oba Erediauwa, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolo Kpolo, Oba of Benin, has brought progress, peace and tranquillity to his people. Described as a gentle and noble prince, Akenzua, like his elder brother, the Oba, and other siblings, had education in the colonial era at Edo College, Benin City, from 19461951. He first qualified as an economist in 1958 and from 1966-1973 was at the University of Mainz, Germany, where he qualified as a medical doctor. Having worked as a civil servant in the old Western Region Civil Service, in the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Health, as well as the Federal Civil Service before proceeding to Germany for his medical training,
HRH Prince Edward Ekighawogho Akenzua Akenzua gained a lot of early administrative and managerial experiences a strength which he strongly built on and have been an asset to him all his life, preparing him for the task ahead, as a great manager of people and leader. His life as a medical doctor has seen him serve and excelled in various hospitals in both Germany and Nigeria, where he has brought his wealth of experience as a surgeon to deliver health service to the society. He worked in Evangelisches Krankenhaus, Gelsenkirehen, St. Josef-Hospital, Oberhausen, St. Marien Hospital, Gelsenkirchen-Buer, all in Germany amongst oth-
Ocean Oil Company, and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC). The Enogie, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Edo State Chapter of Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON), has continued to initiate moves to
A profound academic and a firm believer in education as the bedrock and foundation of growth, he has continued to encourage youths of Ologbo, Edo and the larger society on the need for educational excellence as a pointer to a great future
Ologbo, a once predominantly agricultural town in Ikpoba / Okha Local Government Area, but now, a major oil producing community, one of which has placed Edo State on the map of the oil producing regions of the country. Oil companies operating in Ologbo include the Obax Worldwide Limited, Pan
see how oil companies and their host communities will continue to work in peace to achieve meaningful development, a move which has not only endeared him to his people, but has also made Edo the state with the least oil community crisis in the Niger Delta. As a son of the great Oba Akenzua and a descendant of
the great Oba Ovonramwen and Oba Eweka the Great, Akenzua, like his elder brother, the Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa, is a man who believes in justice, peace and tranquillity. A profound academic and a firm believer in education as the bedrock and foundation of growth, he has continued to encourage youths of Ologbo, Edo and the larger society on the need for educational excellence as a pointer to a great future. This he has also done through his philanthropic support and scholarship awards. He helps his people to secure employment and has been a pivot in job creation for his community through the indigenous oil firms and other organisations in and around his domain and beyond. He is married to his heartthrob, Fe Didima.. They have two wonderful children: Aiyevbekpen Helen and Owenvbiugie Jason. A recipient of many awards and patron of several organizations within and outside Edo, Akenzua is also a corporate player and businessman who sits on the boards of many companies and has contributed immensely to the economic development of Edo State and Nigeria at large.
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SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 47
Edo 2012: Between the PDP and Osunbor Game over for Ondo Rep? VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF A state governor and the opposition challenge
ROFESSOR Oser hiemen Aigberaodi on Osunbor, who ruled Edo State as governor from May 29, 2007 to November 14, 2008 when he was sacked from office by the Court of Appeal, which awarded victory in the April 14, 2007 governorship election to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is now deeply engrossed in a political macabre dance (dance of death). And, who will save Osunbor from himself. But it will appear his case is beyond redemption! After days of dissembling over whether or not he was still a bona fide member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that was after Oshiomhole, who is desperate for re-election, visited him in his Iruekpen country home following his defeat in the PDP governorship primaries, Osunbor has now taken the final plunge, openly urging members of his Iruekpen community to vote for Oshiomhole in the July 14 governorship election. Osunbor, who came last (in fact, a dismal fifth position) in the February 25, 2012 Edo State PDP governorship primaries, had obviously felt so humiliated by the outcome of the exercise that he has been looking for ways of repudiating his defeat. He had first accepted the outcome of the primaries and urged support for the winner only for him to recant and engage in a fruitless exercise of targeting the integrity of the exercise. hose who are very fa T miliar with the politics of Edo PDP and the emergence of Osunbor as the party’s governorship candidate know that he was gratuitously handed the party’s governorship ticket in 2007 because former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was then in the saddle, insisted he be given the ticket. Otherwise, Odion Ugbesia (now a senator) would have emerged as the party’s candidate; and, even if Ugbesia were not to be in the race, Professor Julius Ihon-
BY JOHN AINOFENOKHAI
vbere looked good to trounce Osunbor as he did in the February 25, 2012 primaries (Ihonvbere came fourth). After he emerged as candidate in 2007, other aspirants campaigned for him. Ihonvbere played a leading role in his campaign, tending to the reputation of his campaigns in the media. Osunbor has greatly benefitted from the largeheartedness of the party and its leadership that launched him into political limelight by sponsoring him to the Senate in
control the party machinery to consume him, I had expected Osunbor to lie low still to allow the passage of time to heal the wounds he had inflicted on himself and the party instead of rushing out in a bid to contest the governorship on the party platform. e was no doubt de H luded into believing that he is still popular and
that his little achievements in office would speak for him. But Oshiomhole had said consequent upon tak-
It is on record that his attitude in office as governor was not salutary to the well-being and unity of the party in the state
1999 and 2003 as well as the governorship outing in 2007. I had expected that he should have been very grateful to the party. ut his decision to B abandon the party by supporting Oshiomhole is
morally indefensible. For, indeed, he is unarguably one of the greatest beneficiaries of the PDP in the state. He was a two-term senator and governor for eighteen months. If not for the court that invalidated his victory at the poll, he would have served out his four-year term and, perhaps, would have been serving his second term in office. It is on record that his attitude in office as governor was not salutary to the well-being and unity of the party in the state. Rather than build harmony, Osunbor’s desperate attempt to build a new structure in the party, which would bolster his re-election, precipitated turmoil. He used the instrumentality of his position as governor to destabilize the party. He was so committed to the process of wrestling the control of the party from the leaders so that he would become the de-facto leader. The PDP and Osunbor have not fully recovered from the outcome of that disastrous enterprise. Having squandered the opportunity of acting as a binding force for the PDP by allowing unbridled aspiration for a second term in office and desperation to
ing over from him (Osunbor) that he did not leave behind any legacy. The comrade governor has always claimed that the PDP years in the governance of the state were years of the locusts. The records are all there. But today, because Oshiomhole is in trouble and needs the support of anybody that he thinks can contribute to his re-election, he has gone cap-inhand to Osunbor to enlist his support. And surprisingly, Osunbor, a professor of law and one-time leader of the PDP, would, perhaps, without the slightest prick of conscience, dump a party that has made him all that he is today in the political sphere. It is quite sad! I would have expected Osunbor to engage in a conversation with himself (monologue), with the party (dialogue) and seek to retrace where the rains began to fall on him with a view to working towards reconciliation with the elements that he wronged when he was in the saddle. This attitude would have projected him as a great politician with his eyes on posterity. But unfortunately, he has allowed Oshiomhole to rubbish him irrevocably. This is indeed sad! With his obvious anti-party dispositions, if he has not left the PDP, the party leadership should take step to show him the way out. · Ainofenokhai lives in Benin City, Edo State capital.
Event show storms Port Harcourt HE Garden city othT erwise known as Port Harcourt will come alive again this month with a programme tagged Event show. According to Tres Bien, organisers of the two day show, billed for the middle of the month, it would
showcase the tourism potentials of the Niger Delta. “ The programme will showcase the best vendors in the industry giving talks in various sessions aimed at giving tips on starting an events business, business ethics, event planning, style, make up, etiquette,
etc”. The organisers said the event will also raise fund for some charity homes in Port Harcourt, adding that there will be wine tasting session, artiste performance, auction sales, food tasting with international chef on ground and free massage.
Continued from page 40 of Abegunde from the National Assembly. But the embattled lawmaker, through his counsel, Mr. Kola Olawoye, on 25 January, 2012, sought the protection of the court against the recall move. The suit has as defendants, the Ondo State House of Assembly, the State LP Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Representatives, LP National Chairman and Council Chairmen in Akure South and North Federal Constituencies. Abegunde prayed the court to stop his being recalled from the National Assembly. Specifically, he asked the court to determine whether by the provisions of Section 68(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the imbroglio, division and factionalization bedeviling the LP, he is not entitled to dump the party. However, the counter claim by the defendants posited that since the applicant had dumped the platform through he was elected into the National Assembly and had not proved any division within the LP, Abegunde had automatically vacated his seat as a member of the National Assembly. The defendants asked the court to pronounce that by the reason of his defection, he has ceased to be a member of the House of Representatives. Apart from asking him the vacate the seat, the counter-claimant also prayed the Speaker of the National Assembly to declare the seat vacant and INEC conduct bye election to fill the seat. The court thereafter fixed April 26 for the hearing of the substantive suit. At the resumed hearing, the defence counsel, who is also the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), submitted that since Abegunde had dumped LP and had not proved any division within party, he had automatically vacated his seat as a federal lawm a k e r . In her judgment, on Wednesday, Justice Glo-
ria Okeke said that without a political party, no candidate can contest an election since there is no provision for independent candidacy in Nigerian elections. Citing a Supreme Court decision in Amaechi vs INEC (2008) 5 NWLR Pt. 1080, she added: “If it
As far as INEC was concerned, there was no crisis or factionalization in LP in Ondo State
is only a party that canvasses for votes, it follows that it is a party that wins an election. A good or bad candidate may enhance or diminish the prospect of his party in winning, but, at the end of the day, it is the party that wins or loses an election”. Okeke held further that Abegunde could not prove the alleged division and crisis in LP by the virtue of the letter signed by the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Akin Orebiyi that “we are not aware of any crisis or issue concerning dispute in LP.” She quoted Orebiyi as saying, “We were also present at the Congress
that produced the elected and recognized State Chairman of the party. As far as INEC was concerned, there was no crisis or factionalization in LP in Ondo State.” According to her, the issue raised by Abegunde was not a dispute that should warrant his defection to the can. “It is a constitutional matter that a parliamentarian who defects in this manner “shall (mandatory and not a mere directive, not a matter of opinion) vacate his seat”. “Since it is the 9th defendant, Labour Party, that sponsored the plaintiff (Abegunde) in the election into the House of Representatives to represent Akure North/ Akure South Federal Constituency and defected on account of unproven imbroglio, crisis, dispute and factionalization in the party, the plaintiff has lost the seat and should therefore vacate the seat and I so hold” Okeke ruled. The state Attorney General commended the judgment as a landmark in the annals of the Nigerian legal history. The plaintiff ’s counsel, Olawoye, who described the judgment as unacceptable, said his client will appeal. Whether the plaintiff appealed the verdict or not, observers are of the opinion that Abegunde might be on his way to political oblivion with his unpopular decision to dump the LP and contest the forthcoming governorship election on the platform of the ACN.
’Uduaghan is on track’ Continued from page 40 grow and stop blackmailing leaders. Let us try and develop the spirit of encouraging our leaders and those in government if we must grow democratically. Are you satisfied with the state of infrastructure in the state especially the ongoing Ughelly/Asaba road dualization project? Of course; I am satisfied with the level of infrastructural development in the state. So many things are hap-
pening in terms of infrastructural development. But the remaining three years of Governor Uduaghan, he should please think of awarding contracts or projects to reputable companies like Julius Berger, RCC, Stra-bag and other firms that have made names in terms of construction. Some of these companies presently working in the state are not giving the government good name with their performance. And so, the governor should be mindful of the type of these contractors.
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PAGE 48—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
BY MCPHILIPS NWACHUKWU & EBELE ORAKPO BOOK PRESENTATION
his poetic rendering was imme diately followed with a brief remark by the chairman of the event, Senator Ndoma-Egba, who said that politicians live paradoxical life. In his view, the politician is seen to represent most times, what and who he is not. He, therefore, commended the effort of the writers for writing the book, adding that biographical intervention is very important for politicians as , “ it helps them to balance the reality before them.” Continuing, he said, “the politician lives a life of a paradox and goes through many temptations.” Ndoma- Egba’s remark was followed by a very dramatic rehearsal of the process of writing the book. Tagged, The making of Born to Serve, this segment of the presentation featured a hot seat engagement of popular former NTA diva, Blossom Ubani and Smart Usan, Cross River State House Correspondent, who as the interviewers that sourced responses used for the writing of the book, shared their experiences about the whole engagement.
*Gov. Liyel Imoke autographing a book for Donald Duke
Liyel Imoke…. star unveiled at Kolanut Centre
re-emphasised the need for mentorship inculcation among the youths.
hat evening at the Kolanut Conference and Event Centre, Barrack’s Road , Calabar, was blessed with heavy downpour. But it didn’t dampen the spirit. The spirit of conviviality, of recognition and appreciation, which the people’s paradise city of Calabar wanted to shower on its governor. That was exactly what the evening represented as quality citizens and admirers of Liyel Imoke, Governor of Cross River State, was being honoured. The occasion was the public presentation of a book titled, Born to Serve, a biographical inroad into the short but eventful political life of Imoke. The book, written by two eminent journalists, Enuma Chigbo and Barret Ejiro, is a befitting birthday gift to the Governor, who turned 50 last year. The previous day, it had rained heavily and the soothing wind had whetted the appetite of the huge admirers of Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, who dared the rain to witness the planned public presentation of the book. Before the commencement of the programme, the well decorated event centre, venue for the programme, was lit up with soft caressing poetry incantation accompanied by an equally soft musical tune: Kings and Stars are born and today, we celebrate a Star born to serve.
The book celebrates the man not because of who he is, not because of his service to his people, but the book must be seen as an important contribution to political biography in Nigeria
The five minutes chat was a kind of recap of the essential novel technique which the writers employed in writing the book. The two interviewers told the fun-filled audience how their principal, Imoke was tried by all the people spoken to from the Peoples paradise city of Calabar through the Emir of Borgu’s palace near the Kainji Dam, down to the Canaan land of
Abeokuta.” In his own sharp and condensed review of the book, Senator Anietie Okon described the book’s subject, Imoke as “a promise keeper,” adding that, “Imoke’s early marriage singled the first element of Liyel as a promise keeper.” About the book, he said, “it is a book written from the middle.” “The book celebrates the man not because of who he is, not because of his service to his people. No. but the book must be seen as an important contribution to political biography in Nigeria,” he said
Drama sketch by the Scarlet Trail
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resented under the able Chair manship of Senate leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, the event had in attendance former Governor of Cross River State and his wife, Donald and Onari Duke, Senator Anietie Okon, State Chairman of PDP, Cross River State, Ntufam John Okon , Senator Segun Bamigbetan, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw and Emir of Borgu Kingdom who was represented by the Galadima of Borgu Kingdom, amongst others. In his response, the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke
hile thanking those who at tended the book-signing ceremony, he said that all the money realised from the sale will go into the Bridge Leadership Foundation, a foundation founded by the governor for the purpose of mentoring the youths of Cross River State. “I was very excited that the foundation was beginning to take shape and help impact the youths, providing them with opportunities and an appreciation of what leadership is all about and a lot of mentoring.” He also thanked those who have signed up as mentors to the foundation and have been assigned mentees, and appealed for more people to join. “I will appreciate it if more of us sign up to mentor these young people because I have the privilege of interacting with young people and young people of today are not exactly the same as we were when we were young so a lot of mentoring needs to be done. They are sharper, more intelligent, sometimes they are more exposed but there are some issues that relate to values which I think we still have an edge over them. It is important that we mentor these young men and women so that we can provide them with an opportunity to do better than we are doing. It is important to me that the foundation achieves the objectives and that is why the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to support the work of the foundation.” Imoke said. Also speaking at the event, the Emir of Borgu Kingdom, Senator Haliru Dantoro represented by the Galadima of Borgu Kingdom noted that Gov. Imoke has the capacity to make and keep loyal friendships from far and near.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012, PAGE 49
The Quintessential Ojukwu BY Uzor Maxim Uzoatu REVIEW
ome books can simply overwhelm one. I guess I do have a wellearned reputation as a devourer of books and the written word, but I have to confess from the very beginning that Chuks Iloegbunam’s General of the People’s Army was quite overpowering to me. It is a book that contains multitudes. The well-annotated volume deserves a dissertation for due justice to be done to it, not a short newspaper review! Be that as it may, Iloegbunam understands that the man adored in his lifetime as Eze-Igbo Gburugburu was akin to a big masquerade that cannot be fully appreciated whist standing on one spot, whence this take from the blurb: “Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was a multi-dimensional phenomenon. Because individual effort is incapable of adequately interpreting the legend, an amalgamation of local and international voices has assembled a composite pronouncement on the man who declared the Republic of Biafra. Given the centrality of Ojukwu in the history of Nigeria, General of the People’s Army is at once the story of a courageous soldier, a record of the African continent’s bloodiest attempt at secession and a statement on the texture of relations between former Biafrans and the rest of their countrymen and women.”
eneral of the People’s Army is divided into six bold chapters that should be actually seen as sections thus: 1. The Masquerade Changes Realm…; 2. Obituaries Abroad; 3. Nigerian Editorials; 4. Interviews; 5. Tributes; 6. Biafra and Aftermath. Three appendices: 11 Casualties of the January 1966 Coup; 40 Casualties of the July 1966 Counter-Coup (Officers); and 128 Casualties of the July 1966 CounterCoup (NCOs and other Ranks) round up the book. Iloegbunam is meticulous enough to point out that the list does not include victims like Majors Christian Anuforo and Donatus Okafor who were active participants in the January 1966 coup. Although the book is divided into the six broad chapters or sections, it can be read quite seamlessly. The inclusion of the epochal “Ahiara Declaration” in General of the People’s Army is a
coup, a book on its own, or a book embedded in another book! Iloegbunam gives Ojukwu his due with the following words of the Ikemba: “It seems rather odd that people find it difficult to know how to address me. They didn’t know whether to say lieutenantcolonel or to say general. And then on that basis, I indicated that that was still one of the things that bedevilled our effort at coming together. We have not been able to come together because, you see, when you strip a man of everything, be careful, don’t strip him of his plans… How can I contribute fully to the War College when you, in front of me and in front of Major-General Philip Effiong, call him Colonel, or when you cannot even call him any rank? The American civil war
General of the People’s Army, compiled and edited by Chuks Iloegbunam; Press Alliance Network Limited, Lagos; 2012; 373 pp was fought very bitterly, but in personal relationship, all the other officers on the other side bear their ranks. I will always be a four-star general. General of the Biafran Army. I have never claimed to be a General of the Nigerian Army.” Dedicated “to the cause of a negotiated Nigeria”, General of the People’s Army kicks off with a robust preface from Iloegbunam thusly: “There are many like Ojukwu in the Igbo country – including Chinua Achebe, and Mbonu Ojike who died in his prime. They are the true measure of the Igbo spirit which Ojukwu exemplified in 1966. Today, people will be hard put to find sterling characters like them. Today, the dangling of an oil block or the waving of a fat dollar denominated cheque or a ministerial appointment would send many a pretender to Igbo leadership into swearing that the anti-Igbo pogrom of 1966 had not taken place. It is eternally to
Ojukwu’s credit that he never posted his conscience, nor was he ever enticed by filthy lucre; he continued to the very end with the insistence that no ethnic group deserved to be cannon fodder in the Nigerian polity; no Nigerian deserved to be a second-class citizen in his own country.”
aturday, November 26, 2011 was the red-letter day on which Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu passed on in London, as evinced by the testimony of his son, Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu Jr, published in this book wherein he thanked President Goodluck Jonathan, and of course Anambra State Governor, “Mr. Peter Obi who went above the call of duty to look after him (Ojukwu snr.) Besides paying the hospital bills, he visited London on monthly basis to see him. He was there yesterday and only came back this morning to receive the news, whereupon he entered the next available flight back to London.” Governor Obi in his lament, written in Igbo, mourns that “lightning and thunderbolt are silenced” with the passing of Ojukwu. Chinua Achebe celebrates the giant who lived for others. For President Jonathan, “Ojukwu’s place in Nigerian history remains assured.” Senate President David Mark celebrates Ojukwu’s “metamorphosis from military leadership to a true democrat.” Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu reveals in the Ikemba’s courage and fearlessness. For Senator Uche Chukwumerije, Ojukwu was “the man who saw tomorrow.” Brigadier-General Samuel Ogbemudia who fought against Ojukwu in the war stresses that “Biafra would have been the toast of Africa” if it had succeeded. The inimitable emitter of vocabulary, Hon Patrick Obahiagbon insists that “the fundamental issues which Ikemba confronted have now even coagulated and ossified into gorgon medusa.” Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe sees Ojukwu as one of the greatest Igbo of all time whose death should lead to the goals of doing justice to the Igbo genocide and the restoration of Igbo sovereignty.
eneral Olusegun Obasanjo sees Ojukwu’s death as the end of an era while General Ibrahim Babangida argues that Ojukwu’s understanding of the political dynamics of Nigeria was extraordinary. Ojukwu was indeed a global phenomenon as showcased by the obituaries of The Economist, Associated Press, Time World, Washington Post, The Guardian of London etc. The Nigerian newspapers counted too with their editorials.
Language, Literature and Decolonization of Nigeria’s Political Culture(2) BYTONY E. AFEJUKU
N advancing the slogan of “Language, Literature and the Idecolonization of Nigeria’s
political culture,” we are merely saying that we don’t wish any longer to adapt ourselves to the special features of white colonial and post-colonial rule. One of these special features is the notion and slogan of democracy, which actually is the oppressive rule of the majority, in most cases, a demonically selfish majority that swamp a meritorious minority that are hostilely footmatted and persecuted. We need the kind of literature that can draw the right attention to the iniquities of the dominant group that we must fight in the spirit of equity, fairness and justice. The eagle and the tiniest bird must fly to wherever heights they can get to, and perch wherever and whenever it pleases them to do so without the dominant one impeding the smaller one. We need the kind of literature whose slogan and preoccupancy must be the culture of just democracy in which all in love and in law are equals, regardless of status, ethnical affiliation and one’s worldview and standpoint. We want the kind of literature that can say so in the correct manner of saying so; in the kind of language that can say so significantly. We want the kind of literature that will compel the landlords of our political destinies to de-colonize their attitudes and minds. We want the kind of literature that will compel us tenants of exploitation and of discrimination to fight the landlords of our pains and sorrows. And in so fighting, we
will create the Nigerian culture of our dream and imagination; a Nigerian culture that will steer us a-right to the shores of a national culture that we can rightly call a national culture on the platform of efficient patriotism and nationalism. But this performance must end with a quotation from the late poet Ezenwa-Ohaeto’s “A Song for Nigeria (25th Anniversary”): On a platter of fraud Intellectual stimulus is suppressed, It may be difficult to speak It is impossible to be silent, For ripples turn into a tide In a cloud of fear bred by terror. Nigeria’s political culture of disillusionment must give way for the necessary change that will propel the country and people from the court of disorder and disaster to the Olympian heights of our genuine feelings of rekindled patriotism and nationalism devoid of colonial and post-colonial influence or coloration. The political class and mis-rulers must change their attitudes to one another and towards Nigeria. This is imperative if we must avoid harbouring “memories livid with pain.”
Prof. Tony Afejuku
Alimi Adewale's charity show opens at Quintessence gallery FTER his last solo exhibi tion titled Sublime at QuinA tessence Gallery, Falomo, Ikoyi
Lagos, Lagos based artist, Alimi Adewale is back to the same gallery not just for the usual exhibition but a special charity exhibition titled Anonymous, a charity art exhibition for Ebunomuwa Foundation. The exhibition which opened on the 2nd of June will run till the 9th . The exhibition which is unique is like according to the artist giving back to the gallery for what they have
done for him as the proceeds will go to EbunOluwa Foundation. Adewale stated that it is part of his way of assisting the foundation towards giving hope to the children and he believes that through the show it will help to recreate awareness for the foundation and at the same time help them meet some of their needs. According to the artist, it will feature 18 works in acrylic on canvass and oil on canvass and the works will focus on Lagos and its happenings.
Nigerian teenager launches book
Nigerian teenager, Adonai Toluwalope Gideon, is set to launch his book on poetry, even as he also bags the certificate of a published author soon. The Association of Nigerian Authors, (ANA), Lagos branch with the presence of Professor Akachi Ezeigbo, professor of English, University of Lagos; Amos Onileagbon, among others, will grace the event coming up this month, at the National Arts Theatre, Lagos,
having approved of the collection of poems. The young bard’s anthology contains about 300 poems of lyrics, countytesque verses, elegies and others, all composed by him. Also, the multiple winner of the BBC poetry award, Mr. Folu Agoi, had been scrutinizing the poems and has giving his nod. The title of the anthology is The Torments, Lunacy and Exploits. C M Y K
PAGE 50—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
Poor infrastructure is a product of govt inefficiency — Kester Ifeadi K
ester Ifeadi, architect, CEO of Contemporary Group, President of the Organisation for the Advancement of Anioma Culture, OFAAC, in this interview discusses professional practices and how to stem the collapse of infrastructure…
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Ifeadi...If we do not build internal capacity based on professionalism, the nation cannot progress and we will continuously depend on the outside world.
How do you view professional practice in Nigeria? The biggest challenge we have in Nigeria today is professionalism. Anything that is not professionally done cannot endure. As a nation, we do not encourage professionals through recognition, remuneration and in terms of general capacity building. We do not invest in research and development of professionalism. If you do not invest money in professionalism, you do not have a future because the world is a competitive village and to be on a cutting edge, to be relevant, you have to develop your professional skills. You have to develop your entire context to compete with the outside world. Contributions to aspects of professionalism that through educational system is very low. Resources governments to education are low and much lower than the United Nations recommended average. If we do not build internal capacity based on professionalism, the nation cannot progress and we will continuously depend on the outside world. Of course it translates into handling of professional practice is handled. It is only now that we are beginning to look at the local content law. It is difficult for me to get a consultancy job in South Africa today no matter how good I am. There are laws in South Africa to protect indigenous professionals, we do not have such laws in Nigeria. Nigeria has turned to a dumping ground. Nigeria is a place where anybody comes anywhere and gets a job. How then can do we develop indigenous capacity? Even when the capacity is not there for other country, you are required to partner with internationals to build the local capacity. It is a policy issue really. As a nation we do not have a proper policy framework to deal with internal capacity building in professional practice. The consequences of the neglect are everywhere. The roads are badly built, buildings are now collapsing on regular basis, we
organisations, for individuals and our project development arm is very active in the real sectors of the economy. We have estates in both Lagos and Asaba. Our activities span across the economy. Some of the jobs we have done have to do with the public, so we are quite popular but a lot of our activities are projects you do not even hear about but touch the society. So we do not focus on up-scale projects, we have many projects going on in the real sectors of the economy.
If you do not invest money in professionalism, you do not have a future because the world is a competitive village and to be on a cutting edge, to be relevant, you have to develop your professional skills
do not have indigenous capacity, practically everything in Nigeria, we bring people from abroad to come and do it.
he way forward is for government to look inwards, through enabling laws to protect the local professionals and regulate the practice as well as building the practice so that it will be able to serve the nation. What are the challenges architecture the profession in Nigeria? Obviously, a similar response I have given you earlier about professional practice, it is practically the same thing that is hindering our profession. For example, the laws that regulate the architectural practice are there but the implementation is another
issue. Does government ensure the implementation of regulatory laws of architecture? The challenges architectural practice face are huge, right from lack of government patronage to lack of research institutes to help the practice. Architects in Nigeria are endangered species. They are not protected and there is no incentives as a Nigerian to practice as an architect, so you are left to battle against the influx of foreign professionals whom most time cannot offer what most Nigerians can offer, but they are paid more. So the challenges are huge but we who are in the business feel that there is no other country like ours. We have made it a point of duty that despite all huge challenges, we will continue to build to develop the profession be-
cause our own future generations.
ou are involved in mostly upscale projects, which include the design of the Asaba International Airport, the ongoing Nigerian Law School project in Yenagoa, and Gombe Government State House and other federal government institutions. Is it a matter of deliberate policy? It cannot be a policy by our organisation. We are lucky and if you look at it, we are a multidimensional company. Fortunately, most of these projects that are well known are projects done by an arm of our group but we look at every single project as a special one, we do not believe that a project has to be an upscale before we embark on it. We look at our profession based on purely service to the society. Ours is a multi-dimensional company, we have the consultancy arm, the budget development arm. We render service in a multi-dimensional way to the society, apart from these major up-scale projects, we have done quite a number of other projects for corporate
ow can we stem the de cline in infrastructure in Nigeria? This question also has to do with professionalism in Nigeria. Governments do not lay emphasis on quality. The biggest problem we have is corruption; it has eaten into all the facets of life. What are the processes for awarding contracts? What is outcome if you do not follow professional process? The decline of public infrastructure is linked to inefficiency in government, it has direct link to corruption in the larger society and link stretches to lack of professionalism. It is a multi-dimensional issue and the only way to get out of it is for government to set up an agency that will oversee such projects. There is the maintenance agency but we really need to go beyond this and go into action in regulating professional practice in all spheres. Government should take public works as key projects from conception to execution. How are the roads built? How will they be maintained? Are contracts being awarded with clauses for maintenance? Without maintenance clauses in contracts, we have situations where the amount spent on maintaining a road is more than the cost of constructing it. Who are supervising projects? Are they maintenance-minded? If we take electricity as an example, we can see the importance of infrastructure in any nation’s development.
hat do you think can be done to set the economy back on a track? The problems in Nigeria are bare faced. The biggest crisis we have in Nigeria is security. You do not need a soothsayer to tell you that is it as a result of lack of adequate infrastructure and jobs.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012 — PAGE 51
PAGE 52—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012 caring, honest and God fearing man, aged 30 and above.0 8 1 5 9 0 8 1 1 7 8 •Gloria, needs a kindhearted man, in her life.08068684663
Being in love
ove ceases to be a pleasure, when it ceases to be a secret. We cannot re ally love anybody with whom we never laugh. There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness. Love, free as air at sight of human ties, Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies. cheers!
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SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 3, 2012 — 53
We’ll capitalize on Eagles’ poor form — Namibian Coach BY IME BASSEY with Agency Report
AMIBIAN head coach, Ber-
World Cup qualifier: Oduamadi misses Eagles, Warriors tie BY IME BASSEY with Agency Report
N loan Torino at tacking winger, Nnamdi Oduamadi will miss today’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Namibia in Calabar. Oduamadi suffered a muscle strain in training last Friday while practising long range shots with his teammates caused him to sat out in the training sessions. According to head coach, Stephen Keshi who told Supersport.com that “Nnamdi Oduamadi is out of the match against Namibia. He pulled a muscle during a practice session of shooting, so he didn’t train with the team.
“He is so unhappy because he was looking forward to play in the game. Of course any player won’t be happy to miss national team games due to injury,” Keshi said. Keshi, however assured that the team will play enterprising football even without the winger. More so, he disclosed that the former U-23 star will be fit the other ties slated in the month. “Injury is part of the game. Unfortunately we will have to play on without him. The doctor has told me that he stands a very good chance of recovering in time and should be fit for our next game against Malawi,” the Nigerian manager remarked.
Drogba’s Shanghai deal still on — Batista
HE striker, 34, helped Chelsea win the Champions League in Munich earlier this month to bring the curtain down on a trophy-laden spell in west London. Ivory Coast star Drogba, signed from Marseille for £24million in 2004, is now expected to join up with former Blues team-mate Nicolas Anelka at the Chinese Super League club on what would be a lucrative free transfer. New Shanghai Shenhua boss Sergio Batista said: “The people from the club are doing their best to get Drogba here. “Every coach in the world wants to get Drogba on the team and I hope everything is okay.” Ex-Argentina manager Batista maintained there was no issue with Anelka, who had taken temporary charge as playercoach after former boss Jean Tigana was axed in April. Batista, 49, added: “I’m open to hear Anelka and all the players on the team speak about what’s hap-
pening on the field. “But the final decision is from the coach. “Anelka is one of the best players in the world and I want to keep him on the pitch.”
nard Kaanjuka is upbeat that his lads will end up picking 2014 World Cup ticket when they trade tackle with the Super Eagles at the U J Esuene Stadium in Calabar today. The coach who only had been on the bench for nine months said that Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and the recent strings of poor form in friendly ties against Egypt and Peru will serve as a boost for his team going into the game. The team is also taking strength from the fact that they drew 0-0 with reigning African champions Zambia earlier in the year. He told Goal.com. that, “We drew against a team that won the Africa Cup of Nations, we don’t mind about Nigeria. Sunday will tell. “I’m not comparing my team to the Super Eagles but
•Kaanjuka, Namibia Coach we’re here to qualify for the World Cup. “We’re going to play against 12 players, the team plus the spectators. It’s a small stadium so their voices will be louder and hotter than a big stadium. But my players don’t fear this anymore because they have been playing under a lot of big spectators too in other countries. “As you can see they’re very young but they don’t fear anybody anymore. Their fear stage is over, this is competition stage, Kaanjuka said.
Welbeck sends England into Euros with victory over Belgium •Oduamadi Nnamdi (R) challenged by Peru´s Jefferson Farfan (L) during last month’s friendly match in Lima. Photo by AFP
Euros harder than World Cup — Sneijder
NTER Milan’s Wes ed that Euro 2012 will ley Sneijder has stat- be harder to win than the World Cup because the quality of the teams involved is better. The Dutch playmaker finished second to Spain in the South Africa 2010 tournament but believes Holland will find the European Championship harder. Germany, Portgual and Denmark lie await for Sneijder and his colleagues, compared to Japan, Cameroon and the Danes again two years earlier. ‘It will be very difficult, because for me, the Euros is more difficult than the World Cup because you don’t have the teams from Africa or wherever when you know you are going to take three points,’ said Manchester City and Man United target Sneijder. ‘Now it’s more difficult because there are only strong teams, but we will see.’
NGLAND completed their preparations for the start of Euro 2012 with a gritty but unconvincing 1-0 win over Belgium in their final warm-up match at Wembley. Danny Welbeck pushed his claim to start up front against France in Donetsk on June 11 as the Manchester United striker scored the only goal with a delightful finish in the 36th minute. Roy Hodgson will be pleased to have recorded a victory on his first home game in charge of the Three Lions - and a second clean sheet in as many matches - but England’s age-old deficiencies were on show as Belgium controlled much of the game. In front of a packed house at Wembley, there was something of a car-
nival atmosphere before the England squad fly out to Euro 2012, where they face France, Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine in the group stages. Hodgson made seven changes from the side that beat Norway a week earlier, starting with Joe Hart in goal and his first choice back four of Glen Johnson, Gary Cahill, John Terry and Ashley Cole. Most intriguing was the decision to hand a first England start to Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Belgium, for their part, arrived with familiar faces in the form of Premier League stars Thomas Vermaelen, Marouane Fellaini and Moussa Dembele, while Chelseabound Eden Hazard played in a free role.
VANGUARD, JUNE 3, 2012
By KATE OBODO Following the death of legendary footballer Rashidi Yekini, Rev. (Dr.) Moses Iloh. has urged sports administrators not to neglect retired sportsmen and women who have served their fatherland even as he blamed administrators and the sports ministry for not showing enough concern to Yekini. Excerpts:
HAT’S your feelings on Rashidi Yekini’s death? I don’t know what the physical problems were but I think having been neglected also caused his death. Once you have been a very active fellow, people who loved you should be able to give you the opportunity to remain as active as you would like to be. But solitude is a dangerous thing, it makes you an introvert, it gets you depressed, frustrated and also affect you mentality. I think all these affected him. His death should be a lesson to all those who are involved in looking after sports men in Nigeria especially when people retire from active football. Too bad he died at a very young age of 48. By now, he should have been given the opportunity to coach junior players or something that would keep him busy and also make him feel the opportunity to score and I that his contribution to the scored. And we won that Nation was not lost. Neglect of match. Do you know after that a person is a very bad thing and match, my team-mates gangedI think our administrators and up against me. Because, it the government should better wasn’t the regular players that scored for the team. However, think again. in subsequent matches when Was Nigeria fair to Yekini ? I want to say without any they got the ball they made apologies that we (Nigerians) sure they didn’t pass the ball were not fair to him. If he did to me. So, I won’t be surprised not die, nobody would have if they did same to him(Yekini), known where he was . A man because Nigerian players are like that should be at every like that. Really when a player football or sporting event, be scores, he has to take the glory invited. Just like us, nobody as he was the one that scored invites us to any event but the goal. In all, whatever his attitude thank God I’m a very active man and I don’t need them. But the was then, he was a top point is, when you look at footballer. I think they should people who have contributed to learn from this and also look for the development of sports in those ex-players who are also this country, we shouldn’t dying away, whatever state they abandoned them. In Nigeria, are in now, the state FA should people think everything is all get them involved in football or about money especially inviting any sporting activity. Yekini’s lifestyle these ex-players for sporting I do not know much about him events. No! Nobody needs anybody’s money, the most rather I admired his football important thing is to keep these ability. I heard after his death individuals active because by so that a woman testified about doing, it prolongs life but when him. She said that while he was somebody is dead, we begin to alive, when he earned his shout, and talk . The question is, while he was alive, what did you do for him? So, I think they neglected him and I want to blame the sports administrators and the By IME BASSEY government (ministry of sports) HE inaugural VMOG for not remembering yesterday. Golf Tournament which Do you think ill-feelings took place last Saturday from his team-mates during his active days contributed to at the 18-hole course of the Ikoyi Club 1938 has been described his early demise? This is very true. I tell you a as satisfactory by Eugene Fogli, live experience as a former boss of Vallourec Mannesmann player then in Plateau . I played Oil & Gas, sponsor of the onefor the Plateau 11 and we were day tournament. In a chat with Sunday one of the best teams in Nigeria then. There was a very crucial Vanguard Sports after his shots, match we were playing then, I the handicap 28 golfer noted can’t remember the team we that the organisation of the played against. In that match, tournament was near perfect, we could not score in the first adding that he was also happy half, so in the second half, I with the turnout of golfers, played at the left wing. friends and business partners Somehow in the match, I had to the tournament.
Iloh blames sports administrators for abandoning Yekini •Wants a female tourney named after him •Urges govt to always fulfil promises to sportsmen & women
•Rev. Iloh money, he used to share it to people. May God bless him because he was doing that for eternity. And a man like that needed support. How I wish I
knew him better. Now all Nigerians would remember him because he scored goals and played good football but they won’t even remember his generosity to the poor. We are in a terrible country, we don’t remember people when they are alive but when they have gone. The late Samuel Okwaraji is an example, all the promises they made to his mother then have not been fulfilled, only the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN, Lagos Chapter)) keeps remembering him. Why should our government lie? Let Nigerian leaders and those who run sports remember that they also
MTN Football: Show of talents as tryouts end in Lagos
HE tryouts for tickets into MTN Football Scholar season 2 camp came to an end last week at the Legacy pitch of the National Stadium Lagos. The two-day trial process ended on a very promising note as hundreds of young boys that
attended the tryout displayed distinctive football skills and talents. Lagos zone proved pundits right as the major center of attraction. The inherent soccer skills and abilities displayed by the kids not only attracted the
Golf: VMOG boss impressed with Ikoyi turnout
C M Y K
would be dead someday. For those of us who are also living, we should always do the right thing and live a legacy especially by remembering people who have done good works. How best do you think he can be immortalize For people who died after serving their fatherland, what is normally done for them is to name a stadium after them. But I think the best way Nigeria should do it is to donate a Cup called ‘Rashidi Yekini Cup’ and then let the Falcons or female teams, not the male teams, compete for it every year. Because that is one angle that needs focus. And that would make us look at female football the more and I think people can sponsor it. The female teams are doing well but they are not given attention, so this kind of competition might lead us to focus a little more on the female teams rather than the male teams. Also if he has children, they should try to sponsor them and also look after his family. But the question is, why didn’t sports administrators help him while he was alive? To the government They should always learn to fulfil their promises to sportsmen and women and also know that there is the need for integrity. I have had so many promises made to sportsmen and woman and none fulfilled. After promising, it should not be off the cuff. It is a shame that we have governments that have no integrity and I don’t think it is a good thing. After promising them, which they deserved, you later begin to think that such promise was too big for them. The most important thing now is for the government to fulfil every promises made to him and other players.
“I’m quite happy with the organisation aspect of this tournament. Even though it is our first outing, the standard of organisation and participation was very high and I am very satisfied. I am also happy with the condition of the course, the way it is handled and having played in different parts of the country, I can conveniently say that Ikoyi club has one of the best courses in the country and it is a delight to play here,” he said. Fogli, who has been playing the game for about 10 years, informed that VMOG Golf Tournament would not be a one off thing. “I can assure you that we are warmly welcome
here and this would not be a one off thing because we would be glad to come back again and again,” he added. At the end of the tournament, Tunde Oremule, one of the best players in the club, smiled home with the tournament trophy beating M. Amolegbe on count back. Oremule, handicapper 14, had net score of 74. The gross event trophy went to 10 handicap, S. Majoroh, who shot 84 gross while S. Ogunbiyi was second with 86 gross while the ladies event was won by M. Swanpoel, a 10 handicap, who shot 72 net and beat E.Anukwuem on count back also.
admiration of the trainers and scouts but also drew the attention of passers-by and regular spectators to the event. The crowd at the pitch rightly confirmed the unequaled passion Nigerian youths have for the game. The participants who came from all over Lagos and neighbouring cities of Sagamu, Ijebu-ode and Abeokuta, turned the event to a carnival of soccer talents and skills as they tried to outdo one another in soccer artistry. American soccer trainer and MTN Football soccer project coordinator, Tom DeMaio, who was elated by the array of talented youngsters that turned up for the tryout, applauded the boys for their ingenuity, adding that it will take only a blind man not to notice the exceptional qualities of the boys: “The level of their understanding of the game is very encouraging. Despite their tender age, they displayed good knowledge of soccer and possess football talents that no reasonable scout could ignore”, he said.
We can’t af d ttoo miss afffor ord Nations Cup again —Ike Uche By JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
ALABAR—SUPER Eagles striker,
Ikechukwu Uche has said it was painful the national team was absent in the last Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea/
Gabon and cannot afford to miss the 2013 edition holding in South Africa. Uche who stated this in an interview in Calabar however said that, “Playing for the Super Eagles have always been joy. There is that pressure representing your country. I think we just have to put what happened last year behind us.” He said, “It was a big blow for everyone. We just have to learn from that and try not to let it happen again because it is very important for all of us and not just one person, for the fans, players and the whole nation. “It is difficult now because knowing that we didn’t make it in the last edition, it will be difficult but we ask the people to support us, we need support, with your support everything will go the way we want it. “I think like any other player, I just have to give my best on Sunday, and hope with the support we will get from people of Cross River State, I think we will be able to come out victorious.”
Don’t underrate Namibia, Akpokona advises Eagles
PACING … Super Eagles forward, Ike Uche is still ruing the absence from the 2012 Nations Cup. He has assured Nigerians it won’t happen again.
By KATE OBODO
S the Super Eagle battle the Brave Warriors of Namibia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier today in Calabar, former Super Eagles assistant coach, Lawrence Akpokona has advised the team not to underrate their opponents as there are no more minnows in football. “At this point, pressure is the name of the game and one cannot take it away because the expectations are high,” Akpokuna said in a telephone interview. “Every Nigerian wants the team to win and also want convincing results, so the pressure is both on the coach and his players. But then, I must say that the days of smaller countries in football are gone.” Continuing he said,“ In the last six matches they (Namibia) have played, they were very good. That is why our players should be more careful with their game and also be offensive in their attack.
Eagles’ll ffind ind her ffootings ootings agains oha againstt Namibia - Ir Iroha By IME BASSEY
UNISIA ’94 Nations Cup winner, Ben Iroha has affirmed that the Stephen Keshi-led Super Eagles will find their footing in today’s World Cup qualifier against the Brave Warriors of Namibia. Iroha, who had 50 caps for Nigeria, stated that the boys will be relaxed, given the fact they are playing in front of football loving Calabar fans but added that they will only struggle if the goals fail to come early as they know how
important the game is to Nigerians. He expressed confidence that the Eagles will win the tie but with intense fight from the Brave Warriors. “I am sure about victory but want to stress here that, the game will be difficult for the Eagles, bearing in mind the little knowledge about the Namibians. “The boys know that the tie is as important as their career because victory will push them closer to a flourishing height. I believe the players will be
relaxed following the fact that they are playing at home,” Iroha said. The former U-23 Eagles assistant coach noted that the unavailability of creative midfielder, Raheem Lawal will only allow Keshi to display his tactical ability to Nigerians. “I want to believe that Keshi knows what to do in the absence of Raheem Lawal. He understands the weight of the match so he will either adopt a formation that would suit the players he has on ground,” Iroha added.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 3, 2012 — 55
Eagles on the mar marcch again T
HE ascension of Stephen Okechukwu Keshi as Super Eagles coach gave Nigerian football lovers some hope that after the darkness created by the fall of their darling team, the Super Eagles from grace to grass, light could appear again at the end of the tunnel. Not since the team failed to qualify for the 1986 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt have the fans been disappointed with the team’s performance in the run to the 2012 Nations Cup under an indigenous coach, Samson Siasia they so much placed their hope on. Their love for the team was rekindled with Keshi’s idea of throwing open the team’s camp to every Nigerian player irrespective of he plays, at home, Europe or even the moon, the only criteria being that you are a Nigeria who knows the rudiment of the game. Keshi played under Dutchman, Clemens Westerhof, who relied on home-based players whom he gave exposure to and moulded them into world beaters that only lost the 1994 World Cup quarter final ticket to naivity after after taking the lead against World Champions, Italy. Since Keshi took up the mantle of the Eagles coach, he has experimented with a mixture of home-based and foreign-based players in a couple of matches, the most recent being the losses to Egypt (2-3) and Peru (0-1). Despite these losses, the former national coach of both Togo and Mali believes the local boys have something to offer if given the necessary exposure like he is currently doing and has made it clear to the supposed big boys in Europe that there is no automatic shirt for any player irrespective of his status. As the team begins another march to qualifying for the 2013 Nations Cup and 2014 World Cup, the Ilah-born coach has made good his vow to build his team around the home-based players who will for the fulcrum of the future Super Eagles he is trying to mould. Twelve of them were called to camp in Calabar where they have been strategising for today’s World Cup opener against Namibia at the U.J. Esuene Stadium today as well as other matches slated for later this month. After today’s encounter, the Eagles are expected to fly out to Blantyre to battle Malawi in the second group match and return home to Calabar, their new home, to face Rwanda, who held them to a barren draw in Kigali in a qualifier for South Africa 2013 on June 17. Nigerians are waiting with bathed breath to see whether will again fail to qualify for the Nations Cup made up mainly of seeming weak teams like it was in the run up to the 2012 edition in Equatorial Guinea/Gabon early this year and struggle as usual, with permutations along the line, to pick a World Cup ticket again. Keshi is not new to both the Nations Cup and World Cup qualifications. With his former boss, Shaibu Amodu, the qualified the Eagles for the 2002 Nations Cup in Mali in 2002 and the World Cup in Japan that same year. Altercation between the technical crew and the sports authorities didn’t allow Nigerians know whether Amodu and Keshi would have lifted the Nations Cup trophy in 2002 as they crashed in the semi final and managed to scoop the now usual ‘golden’ bronze. They also couldn’t lead the Eagles to the Japan/Korea World Cup. Not deterred, Keshi gathered his loins and went to Togo. With little known players propelled by a lone ranger in Emmanuel Adebayor, Keshi qualified little Togo for their first and only World Cup till date, the same year the Super Eagles could not qualify for the world party in Germany in 2006. Again like in 2002, Keshi could not lead the team to the World Cup after qualifying. He returned to the bench as Mali’s coach to the Nations Cup in South Africa in 2010 but was not successful with them. So the 2013 event is another test for Keshi and he believes his experiment with the locals will yield dividend at the end of the day. Will he succeed, will he not, questions begging for answers from the ever victory-thirsty Nigerian football fans. To start, Keshi, in the absence of injured captain, Joseph Yobo, has handed the Eagles captain’s band to goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, the one the mercurial Argentine star, Lionel Messi could not put the ball past when they met at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The task to restore hope in Nigerian fans that the Eagles are on the march again to regain their Africa and world respect are these bunch of players, home and abroad namely Chigozie Agbim, Azubuike Egwueke, Sunday Mba, Ejike Uzoenyi, Juwon Oshaniwa, Izu Azuka, Godfrey Oboabona, Henry Uche, Kalu Uche, Papa Idris, Gabriel Rueben and Obinna Nwachukwu. The foreign legion includes Enyeama, Ekigho Ehiosun, John Utaka, Joel Obi, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Gege Soriola, Raheem Lawal, Obiorah Nwankwo, Ahmed Musa, Wigan’s wonder boy, Victor Moses and Elderson Echiejile.
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SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 3, 2012
2014 World Cup: Eagles on redemption flight against Namibia Venue: U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar Time: 4 pm By PATRICK OMORODION
efore Stephen Okechukwu Keshi mounted the saddle as Super Eagles Chief Coach, the team’s rating in the eyes of ardent Nigerian football followers was nothing to write home about. This was especially after his predecessor, Samson Siasia committed the unforgettable, failing to qualify the team for the 2012 Africa Nations Cup, the first time in 25 years. Not even the Eagles’ poor performance at the 2008 Nations Cup in Ghana which earned them the nickname, Super Chickens, from the Ghanaian press,
elicited such dislike from their Nigerian fans like they received after the Syli Nationale of Guinea denied them the 2012 ticket on home soil at the Abuja National Stadium. It is with this poor rating on his mind that Keshi started a rebuilding process with home-based players and a sprinkle of foreignbased players. This process also gave the fans some hope that all is not lost afterall, especially after the new team posted some respectable results where the locals proved that they were not all brawn and no brain but skillful and determined. Even in the two friendly matches they lost to Nations Cup
We won’t underrate Namibia– Enyeama By JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU, Calabar
uper Eagles captain for today ’s match against the Brave Warriors of Namibia, Vincent Enyeama, has said that he does not like to talk of expectations in any match because such will put the team in pressure. The goalkeeper told Sunday Vanguard sports in an interview that there are no small teams again in the game of football, so no team should be under rated. “I’m one of the guys who don’t talk of expectations because when you have expectations, you are promising what you are not so sure of. Nigerians should pray for us because it is a new team we are trying to build, it’s not going to be easy.
“There is no push over now in football, we are going to try but the most important thing is to get the three points needed to push through. “We have to try with the help of God to get that three points and try at the same time to give Nigerians the football they are craving for. We are not so sure of that but the important thing is to get the three points and keep re-building. “The rebuilding process is amazing, the coach is doing what Nigerians really want. We are here to build a strong national team for the country. The coaches are doing their best and a very good work by bringing in a mix of home-based and foreign-based players at the same time. “I guess it’s going to be a perfect match but it’s not going to come by easily and I think it’s going to be perfect and amazing at the end.”
record holders, Pharoahs of Egypt and Peru, the home-based lads proved that with more exposures like they are getting already, they could displace some of the former regulars in the team and form the fulcrum of Keshi’s main team. Though Keshi had not made public his starting line-up as at the time of this report, the homebased players are sure to make up a sizeable percentage of the team to battle the Namibians who are already boasting they will pick a vital point or the maximum points against their supposedly stronger opponents today. On their way to Calabar aboard a Nigerian airliner, the Namibian coach, Bernhard Kaanjuka would not subscribe to the confidence talk of Wigan goal-getter, Victor Moses that the Eagles will overrun his side. He told Vanguard’s Group Sports Editor, Onochie Anibeze that “You have a bigger team but I can tell you one thing, Nigeria will feel us on the field.We are not afraid of Nigeria. We respect them but will make them feel us on the field.” In another interview with Sports radio, Brila
CHECKMATED.... Super Eagles duo, Henry Uche (L) and Obiora Nwankwo (R) check Peru’s Claudio Pizarro (C) from getting the ball during their friendly football match in Lima which the homers won 1-0. Photo: AFP
FM monitored in Lagos, Namibia’s Technical Director, Klaus Starck was not as optimistic as Kaanjuka when he said they were not expecting to qualify for the 2014 World Cup but to put up a respectable performance in the group. He described Namibia as a young team who are still learning from big teams like Nigeria and hoping to mature and be able to qualify for the World Cup in future. “Nigeria is a big team with big players playing in Europe. We are not here to beat Nigeria but we want to ensure we don’t lose by a wide margin. We are going to put in our best but you know in football anything can happen,” he said. No matter the opposition today, the Eagles must assure their
fans that they are on their way to full recovery from the low level they have sunk both in Africa and the world that has made them fall out of the top 10 teams in the continent for the first time rd and a disgraceful 63 position in the world, behind the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone, of all teams. Goal-keeper trainer, Ike Shorumnu has assured that the goalkeepers are in top shape to deny Namibia any chance of getting a goal in Calabar. In the midfield however, with the absence of Chelsea of London hero, John Mikel Obi, Keshi must work on the home-lads who are likely to work with Norway-based Fengor Ogude to ensure they reduce the pressure from the Namibians against the Eagles defence. As a product of the ACROSS 1. Nigeria’s neighbour (8) 4. Nigerian tribe (4) 6. Bird of prey (5) 7. Geometrical shape (8) 8. Shaft (4) 9. Tidy (4) 10. Turncoat (8) 11. One (4) 12. Within (2) 13. Boxes in training (5) 15. Tub (4) 18. Looked at (4) 21. Nigerian state (4) 23. Notion (4) 25. Sports field (5) 27. Above (2) 28. Image (4) 29. Lowers (8) 30. Emblem (4) 31. Hausa boy’s name (4) 32. Dared (8) 34. Barrier (5) 35. Friend (4)
Clemens Westerhof ’s school, Keshi is expected to adopt the wing play from where pacer, Ahmed Musa could float crosses for Victor Moses, Ike Uche or returnee, John Utaka, who are likely to start against the locals, to do the damage. Keshi himself knows the task at hand and has called on Nigerians, not only to support and pray for the team, but exercise patience with them if the goals don’t come early in the game as they expect. Nigerians like retired BrigadierGeneral Emmanuel Okaro, Austin Izagbo and former Green Eagles winger, Dr Felix Owolabi have equally called on the fans to be patient with Keshi as he continues the rebuilding process to give them a formidable squad in the nearest future.
36. Gently (8) DOWN 1.Bed (3) 2. Enugu soccer team (7) 3. Maiden name (3) 4. Planet (7) 5. Chosen by vote (7) 9. After this (4) 10. Knock (3) 14. Nigerian Grammy Laureate (3) 16. Hatchet (3) 17. Hello (2) 19. Still (3) 20. Mathematical constant (2) 21. Anambra city (7) 22. Cancel (7) 24. Extinct flightless bird (4) 25. Sowed (7) 26. Lettuce (3) 32. Animal doctor (3) 33. Twelve hours (3)
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